In July of 2013, Annie Rooney was killed by a drunk driver as she rode her bike. That tragic incident led the family to lobby for the passing of “Annie’s Law”. The objective of the new legislation is to reduce the chances of DUI offenders driving drunk and will hopefully save many lives.
The law has gathered much support by many politicians and law enforcement personnel. It is expected to go to the Senate and later this year to the Governor for his signing. Within that time frame, Annie’s Law should become effective by early 2017.
The Importance of Annie’s Law
Driving under the influence is a serious offense with serious penalties if convicted, but if the defendant is found guilty, sentencing will vary in every case. A DUI case that does not involve injury or death to another is often taken lightly and first-time offenders may walk away with a slap on the wrist. The problem is that the police will not always catch all drunk drivers, but when they do, sentencing should help to protect the public in the future.
In the case of Annie Rooney, the drunk driver was driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) two times the legal limit. Additionally, this driver was arrested some three times prior to the accident for drunk driving. If this DUI offender was required to install an ignition interlock device after his first conviction, Annie Rooney could still be alive.
How Will Annie’s Law Affect Ohio DUI Offenders?
An ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer machine that is installed in a car. The objective of the device is to prevent the driver from driving while drunk. The interlock
device disables the ignition of the car if the driver’s BAC is above a certain limit.
The purpose of Annie’s Law is to require all DUI offenders to install this device. By so doing, a driver will not be able to operate a vehicle while he or she is drunk. The recommended system also includes a camera to ensure that the right person is submitting to the test and will be enabled with GPS tracking capability.
While there is no absolute way to stop offenders from driving when drunk, the Rooney family is optimistic that this initiative will save many lives. Already the legislation has gained the
support of Governor Kasich, who has given his undertaking to sign the Bill when it comes to his desk.
Call the Skilled Ohio DUI Lawyers with Luftman, Heck & Associates
Causing injury or death while driving under the influence is a serious offense. If charged, you should seek the services of a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer. Call Brad Groene today at (513) 338-1890 for high-quality legal representation you can trust.