Law would require people charged with OVI to pass breath tests before driving

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WYTV) – The Ohio House passed a bill on Thursday that would force people convicted of drunk driving to take a breath test to unlock the car’s ignition.

Annie’s Law is named after Annie Rooney, who was killed in a head-on collision in 2013.

“Our family’s world changed forever when we were visited by two patrolmen at 9:30 p.m.,” said her father, Richard Rooney.

After that devastating visit, Annie’s family and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) tried to pass Annie’s Law in state legislature.

The driver would have to pass multiple breathalyzer tests after starting the car. A camera and GPS would also be installed inside the car, alerting authorities of the vehicle’s location.

This version of the law includes drivers convicted of their first OVI.

“The one type of homicide that is…100 percent preventable is a crime of impaired driving,” said MADD State Chair John DiPietro.

Richard says he’s been told the breath test shames the driver, but he sees it as a safety device.

“The thing I regret the most is we didn’t get it passed in 2014, is that we continue to lose lives.”

The bill will soon go to the state senate and if passed, to Governor John Kasich, whose life was also changed by drunk driving.

“I cannot wait to have a signing ceremony with Governor Kasich, whose parents were lost in the same way, to drunk drivers,” DiPietro said.

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