Rep. Keene again pushes for DUI interlock bill, which faces uncertain future in Senate

02/02/2011 07:07 PM

For the last three sessions, Democratic Rep. Dennis Keene of Wilder, has sponsored bills to require people convicted of driving under the influence to purchase interlock breathalyzer devices that would attach to their car’s ignition. If the ignition interlock device detects alcohol on the drivers’ breath, the car won’t start.

Each time it has faced questions about its potential costs or whether it would favor a particular manufacturer.

Keene told cn|2 Politics he ironed out those wrinkles. The current bill would allow any of the seven companies currently registered in Kentucky to sell their devices, he said. And the state wouldn’t be on the hook for covering any costs, even for those who prove they don’t have the money to buy one.

The manufacturers would put up money in a trust fund for indigents, Keene said.

The measure passed the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday and heads to the House floor next. But even if it clears that chamber, it faces an uncertain future in the Senate, said Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester and the majority floor leader.

Last year, it passed the House and stalled in the Senate. Then in the special session in May, it was attached to another bill allowing bourbon tasting at state festivals and failed to win approval from the full House.

- Ryan Alessi with video produced by Kenny Colston


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