Republican Representative Allen Farley, currently serving his second term in the Alabama House of Representatives, is sounding the alarm bell about repeat DUI offenders. On Memorial Day he spoke out against state judges who refuse to implement a newly passed state law cracking down on drunk driving.
The state representative sponsored the Ignition Interlock Bill, which became the law of the land in Alabama as of July 2014.
“For those readers not familiar with ignition interlock, it is basically a breathalyzer installed on the vehicle of a convicted DUI offender,” Farley wrote in an editorial. “If the user blows above a 0.02 blood alcohol content, the car won’t start. The new law we passed was a change to existing law, allowing offenders of different degrees to have an ignition interlock device instead of losing their license.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also endorsed the law’s approach; license suspensions are not proven to prevent future drunk driving. And since the majority of fatal drunk driving crashes involve drivers with BAC levels well over the legal limit of 0.08, the Ignition Interlock Bill could literally save lives. That is, it could — if state judges helped implement the law.
Farley writes that the bill isn’t just about politics, it’s a deeply personal issue for him.
Not only is Rep. Farley a state representative, he also spent 36 years serving as a police officer, while volunteering with the Salvation Army Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center, too.
This month Huntsville Police have been cracking down on drunk drivers; the state recently identified DUI crash “hot spots,” and the police have been setting up checkpoints throughout the month of May. Some of the Huntsville “hot spots” include:
University Drive/U.S. Highway 72
Memorial Parkway/U.S. Highway 231
Jordan Lane/Alabama Highway 53
Farley accuses the state’s judges of needlessly blocking the law from taking effect. He points out that Mississippi passed a similar law after Alabama did, but that state has already installed 1,200 interlocks in that time. And in Arizona, drunk driving deaths have dropped by 46% since an interlock law went into effect.
The politician says there’s no excuse for further delays.
“This all sounds like common sense, right?” Farley asked. “Now let’s enforce it and see the positive benefits for the people of Alabama.”