A new law, approved by Ohio House lawmakers this week, aims to stop DUI offenders from getting behind the wheel drunk and putting lives in danger on the road.
The law is called “Annie’s Law.”
Annie Rooney was hit and killed by a drunk driver on July 4, 2013, in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The driver’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and the driver had been arrested five times before for drunk driving.
Walt Rooney he will never forget the accident that killed his sister.
“This person was driving 80 miles an hour with no lights at dusk,” he said. “There are no skid marks after she veered into my sister’s lane.”
Walt Rooney said he and his family have worked three years to pass Annie’s Law. He said he was at the Statehouse Thursday when the bill bearing his sister’s name passed the Ohio House. If passed by the Ohio Senate, Annie’s Law would require ignition interlock devices in vehicles owned by DUI offenders, meaning a driver has to pass a Breathalyzer test to drive.
It also includes a camera to record who is using the Breathalyzer and a GPS system to track the car.
Walt Rooney said the work has been worthwhile.
“This is going to save lives,” he said. “We’re going to keep pushing. We’ve met with Gov. Kasich (and) he is in favor of our law.”
Rooney’s family said they want to make sure their daughter didn’t die in vain, and said their mission is all about safety.
David Lewis at LifeSafer in Blue Ash said he and his company are partners in the work to keep Ohio motorists safe. LifeSafer manufactures the interlock devices which disable the ignition systems of cars of drivers that traces of alcohol in their system.
“With Annie’s Law, all OVI offenders will be enabled to have an interlock ignition device and drive during their suspension period. That will make the roads safer for all of us,” Lewis said.
Annie’s Law could be passed in the Senate latter this summer and signed by Gov. John Kasich in the fall.