Keeley Ignition Interlock Device Bill Signed into Law

WILMINGTON – Governor Jack Markell today signed legislation sponsored by Rep. Helene Keeley that requires all people convicted of driving under the influence to install ignition interlock devices in the vehicles they drive.

House Substitute 1 for House Bill 212 builds on a 2011 law that increased penalties for multiple DUIs and required ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for all offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more. The new bill would require all DUI offenders to install IIDs in their vehicles. It also requires the use of the IID for a minimum of four months for a first offense. A person who elects the First Offender’s Program would be immediately eligible for an IID license upon installation of the device.

“Too many families have lost loved ones to the senseless crime of drunk driving – including my own cousin,” Gov. Markell said. “Today, we take another step forward on Delaware’s DUI laws and I commend Representative Keeley for her continued efforts to prevent accidents caused by people driving under the influence.”

“Fighting drunk driving is an ongoing battle, one I have been involved in for at least a decade. I have sponsored bills creating the ignition interlock system and toughening penalties for repeat DUI offenders,” said Rep. Keeley, D-Wilmington South. “The ultimate goal is to keep drunk drivers off the road. The facts show that ignition interlock devices work to reduce drunk-driving recidivism, and fewer drunk drivers mean fewer drunk driving fatalities. This new law will help to continue that fight.”

In 2012, more than 10,000 people were killed in DUI-related accidents nationwide, with 34 in Delaware. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), requiring or highly incentivizing interlocks for all offenders are proven effective to reducing drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent.

Currently, more than 20 other states have all-offender IID statutes, including California, Kansas, Mississippi, Virginia and New York. Arizona and Oregon have seen respective 43 and 42-percent drops in their drunk driving fatalites since passing all-offender IID laws.

HS 1 for HB 212 takes effect six months from today’s signing.