July 10, 2014
COLUMBUS—State Representatives Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) and Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) today held a press conference to discuss House Bill 469, also known as Annie’s Law, which works to prevent drunk driving re-arrests through the use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs).
Annie’s Law, introduced in March, is sponsored by Representative Johnson and it would expand the use of ignition interlocks for first-time offenders, with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater, who seek driving privileges during a license suspension for a period of six months. Drivers must breathe into the breathalyzer system before attempting to drive in order to check blood-alcohol concentration. The goal of the legislation is to decrease drunk driving re-arrest rates in the state and in turn reduce alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities.
The legislation is named after Annie Rooney, Representative Scherer’s constituent, who was killed by a drunk driver on July 4, 2013. Annie was traveling home when a drunken driver crossed into her lane on U.S. Route 50. Annie was 36-years-old and had served as a prosecuting attorney, even recently opening her own practice in Chillicothe.
“Annie lived a meaningful life. Although this legislation does not bring her back, it can make a meaningful and beneficial change in Ohio that Annie would be proud of,” Rep. Scherer said.
“Sadly stories similar to Annie happen far too often, “ Rep. Johnson said. “With this legislation in her name we have the opportunity to make Ohio’s roads a safer place to travel on.”
Additional participants in the press conference included Christopher Hart, Acting Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Doug Scoles, MADD Ohio State Executive Director, William “Bill” Windsor of Nationwide Insurance and Dr. Richard Rooney, Annie’s father.