BOSTON, MA — 2016 was thought to be a promising year for moving the Bay State up into a position of equivalency with its neighbors by enacting legislation requiring ignition interlocks for first offenders.
Drivers would have been required to blow into the breathalyzer device before their car will start. Legislators, advocates and citizens hoped this would prevent repeat drunk driving offenses. Prior to this legislation, Massachusetts drivers had to use an ignition interlock after 2 drunk driving offenses.
After the House refused to act on the legislation, the Senate refused to take no for an answer and “zombied” the bill into a Senate Bill and quickly passed it. Unfortunately, the second go around in the House was not any better. Transportation Committee Chair William Strauss would not release the bill for a vote, despite overwhelming evidence that these devices save lives. Not even a mile-long “who’s who” list of traffic safety organizations filing in support swayed the Chairman.
Twenty-seven states across the U.S. now require interlocks for all offenders, particularly every state along the Eastern Seaboard. Except for one. Massachusetts stands alone.