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Tougher drunk driving laws in Ohio effective as of April 4

A law has recently taken effect that aims to prevent incidents of drunk driving. Known as "Annie's Law," the new law institutes harsher penalties for those convicted of drunk driving and would also institute a new system affecting those who are convicted of drunk driving a second time or more. The law is named after a woman who passed away after being struck by a repeat drunk driver. The law went into effect April 4.

Under the new law, if a first-time offender agrees to have an ignition interlock device mounted on their vehicle, which will keep an automobile from starting if the motorist's blood alcohol content is above 0.08 percent, then the 13 month license suspension period would be reduced by 50 percent. For first-time OVI convictions, the mandatory minimum driver's license suspension has been raised from six months to twelve months. In addition, judges can examine a decade's worth of the drunk driver's driving record, rather than just six years. Other states in the nation with laws like these have seen the number of OVI fatalities in their state reduced by 50 percent.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol Sargent noted that almost 40 percent of traffic fatalities in the state were due to OVI drivers. On average anywhere from 900 to 1,200 individuals in Ohio lose their lives in fatal accidents. This makes the 40 percent statistic very significant.

In the end victims of fatal drunk driving accidents leave loved ones behind, who must find some way to cope with their loss. These loved ones may want to consider their legal options. While a lawsuit will not bring their loved one back, it can be a means for them to recoup some of the financial losses they suffered from their loved one's death as well as hold the drunk driver accountable.

Source: nbc4i.com, "New Ohio law designed to stop repeat drunk drivers goes into effect," April 5, 2017

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