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Texas state Rep. Bill Callegari (District 132, Katy) has introduced House Bill 506 to require that all persons convicted of driving while intoxicated have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. The bill is entitled the Todd Levin Memorial Act.

Todd Levin and his girlfriend were struck by a drunk driver on Sept. 26, 2006. Levin died instantly. His girlfriend died shortly afterwards. Gallegari said Levin was a constituent and a family friend.

Currently, drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated in Texas are not required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. State law does require that interlock devices be installed in the vehicles of drivers convicted of two or more DWIs, or those that have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more —  nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08. HB 506 would require that an ignition interlock device be installed in the vehicle of a driver convicted of a first time DWI offense with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater.

“Repeat drunk drivers make up a significant percentage of the drunk driving problem on Texas roads,” said Rep. Callegari. “According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly one-third of those convicted of drunk driving were previously convicted of the same offense.”

Studies have shown that requiring the use of ignition interlock devices can reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by 64 percent. Currently eight states mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for all drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated.

The 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature began on Jan. 11. The session will end on May 30.

Callegari is a member of the House Committee on Transportation.

Source: Texas House of Representatives

Posted 11:29 AM

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