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Jun-03-2011 15:28printcomments

MADD Urges Action on Legislation Closing Loopholes in Oregon’s DUII law

--HB 3075 and HB 3324 require more convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks--

Ignition interlock
Photo: N.M. Dept. of Public Safety

(SALEM, Ore.) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) urges Oregon lawmakers to act on HB 3075 requiring ignition interlocks for the 11,000 DUII offenders who receive diversion and HB 3324 expanding the use of interlocks for third and fourth time offenders. The measures are pending in the Ways and Means Committee.

“MADD urges lawmakers to advance HB 3075 and HB 3324 and help close unnecessary DUII law loopholes that compromise public safety,” said Anne Pratt, MADD Oregon Public Policy Liaison. “Interlocks for all convicted DUII offenders will help stop drunk driving and teach offenders to drive sober while protecting the public.”

HB 3075 requires interlocks in the 11,000 diversion DUII agreements. In Oregon, there are approximately 25,000 DUII arrests per year. It is estimated that approximately 11,000 of these arrests result in diversion thus creating a loophole where an offender is free of an interlock requirement. HB 3075 would require interlocks for these offenders.

HB 3075 requires convicted drunk drivers to pay a $50 administrative fee which is expected to generate an additional $945,300 to Oregon’s Intoxicated Driver Program Fund with $700,000 going towards treatment programs.

Studies show that a first-time convicted drunk driver is not a first-time offender, but rather it is simply the first time they have been caught. First-time offenders have driven drunk an average of 87 times before they are convicted. The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates that 37 percent of these first time offenders on diversion will become repeat offenders. And according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ignition interlocks, on average, reduce drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent.

HB 3075 is also supported by: Governor’s Advisory Committee on DUII, Oregon District Attorney’s Association, Crime Victims United, Oregon Anti-crime Alliance, Oregon Sheriff’s Association and Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, Oregon Impact. HB 3075 is co-sponsored by Rep. Kim Thatcher and Rep. Dave Hunt.

HB 3324 expands the use of interlocks to 5 years for convicted felony DUII offenders with four or more convictions and third time misdemeanor DUII lifetime offenders. HB 3324 requires these offenders to install an interlock for 5 years helping to teach these convicted drunk drivers to drive sober and protect the public. HB 3324 is sponsored by Rep. Jeff Barker.

For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit www.madd.org.

Source: About Mothers Against Drunk Driving




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