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Government/Politics

House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Allowing Expanded Use Of In-Car "Breathalyzers" For Drunk Drivers

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Karen Kasler
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Dr. Dick Rooney (right) stands with his wife and family members at event urging passage of "Annie's Law".

The House has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow for expanded use of in-car breathalyzers for those convicted of driving while intoxicated – including first-time drunk drivers.

The bill would expand the use of what are called ignition interlock devices for even those who are convicted of their first drunk driving offense. Sponsoring Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) said the bill "doesn’t mandate first-time ignition interlock device being installed, but it provides incentives.” The bill also sets the window for deciding whether a driver has a previous drunk driving offense from six years to ten years, which drew some opposition. The law was named for Annie Rooney, a 36 year old prosecuting attorney who was riding her bike on Route 50 near Circleville on July 4, 2013 when a drunk driver crossed into her lane and hit her.