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Proposed DUI bill faces opposition on road to being passed

Enjoying alcoholic beverages responsibly is an activity in which many adults like to participate. However, it is when poor choices are made regarding alcohol when accidents can happen. These situations are made that much more dangerous when alcohol and automobiles are mixed, sometimes causing tragic drunk driving accidents. Recently, much discussion has been had on possible methods of dealing with these offenders, as a new DUI bill in Ohio is being thoroughly examined and, in some cases, criticized.

The proposed bill is known as Annie's Law (after a woman who was hit and killed by a motorist who had several previous drunk driving offenses) and it would require those convicted of a DUI to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. Currently, an ignition interlock device is required for those convicted of a DUI two times in six years. Proponents of the bill point to statistics showing that such devices reduce repeat offenses by up to 75 percent.

Opponents of the bill, however, disapprove of its limiting affect on judge's discretion in such cases, forcing the use of the devices which have been called "expensive and burdensome." Countering the proponent's statistics, opponents cite that data from 2007 shows that 77 percent of DUI offenders were first timers, while 18 percent were repeat offenders. For that reason, those speaking out against the bill more firmly side with judicial discretion rather than imposed use of the devices.

As the bill continues to be debated and possibly moved through the legal system, there is a possibility that more poor choices involving alcohol will cause tragic accidents. When someone who is intoxicated gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they are putting everyone on the road in danger. The negligence of such drivers may entitle injured parties to compensation. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help form a solid legal plan of action.

Source: dispatch.com, "Latest DUI bill draws fire from judges," Jim Siegel, Oct. 1, 2014

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