Annie’s Law aimed at reducing drunk driving deaths in Ohio

Legislators in Ohio are considering a bill that would hopefully reduce the number of drunk driving fatalities each year.

Legislators in Ohio are taking action in an effort to decrease the number of people killed in drunk driving collisions in the state each year.

House Bill 469 - commonly referred to as Annie's Law - would require that ignition interlock devices be installed in the vehicles of all individuals convicted of drunk driving in Ohio. At the moment, only those who have been convicted of driving under the influence two times during a six-year period are required to install an ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock devices prevent individuals from operating a motor vehicle when their blood alcohol concentration is above 0.25 percent, well below the legal limit. To start the car, the motorist must take a breathalyzer test.

Annie's Law has yet to pass through the legislature in Ohio - the House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the bill during the upcoming legislative session.

Legislators are hopeful that the law will lead to a reduction in the number of drunk drivers - and therefore lower the number of drunk driving collisions - in Ohio each year. In 2012, over 24,250 people were arrested for drunk driving in the state.

Drunk driving fatalities all too common on Ohio's roadways

Drunk drivers are responsible for a higher percentage of traffic fatalities in Ohio than the country as a whole, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

In 2012, 385 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in Ohio - accounting for 34 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state that year. Across the country, about 31 percent of all traffic deaths are the result of impaired driving crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In all, Ohio saw a 24 percent increase in the number of people killed by drunk drivers from 2011 to 2012.

In addition, there were over 12,250 drunk driving collisions in Ohio in 2012, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In total, over 7,385 people suffered injuries as a result of impaired driving crashes in the state that year.

In the United States, drunk drivers were responsible for the deaths of 10,228 people in 2010, according to the CDC.

Motorists who decide to get behind the wheel when impaired by alcohol or other substances can wreak havoc on other family's lives when they cause motor vehicle accidents. People who have been affected by drunk drivers should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney, to safeguard their interests and explore their options to recover damages to account for the harm suffered in the crash.

Keywords: Ohio, drunk driving, accidents