WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) commended the Maine Legislature today for passing legislation that requires repeat drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.  Ignition interlock devices prevent a vehicle from starting unless the driver provides a breath sample with a concentration of alcohol below a preset limit.

“It’s of the utmost importance to get repeat drunk drivers off the roads,” said DISCUS Senior Vice President Mark Gorman, who pointed out that repeat and high BAC offenders are the cause of the overwhelming percentage of alcohol-related traffic fatalities and injuries.  “We believe interlocks are appropriate for repeat and high BAC offenders who clearly have no regard for highway safety.
I applaud the Maine House for passing this legislation.  Let’s get these chronic drunk drivers off our roads.”

L.D. 865, sponsored by Senator Lynn Bromley, allows the Secretary of State to reinstate the license of a person convicted of more than one violation of the operating under the influence laws if the person installs an approved ignition interlock device and satisfies all other conditions for license reinstatement mandated by this legislation.  The bill now moves to the Governor’s desk for final signature.

“Any amount of alcohol abuse is too much,” Gorman said.  “For that reason, the spirits industry has worked in partnership with public and private organizations at the federal, state and local level to support dedicated efforts to help fight abuse.”

Gorman stated that the distilled spirits industry has a long history of working with communities to combat underage drinking and drunk driving.  He cited as examples the work of The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers, which has programs available for communities and parents to reduce underage drinking and drunk driving.  For more information, visit www.centurycouncil.org.