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Holiday brings to mind anti-DUI efforts in Pennsylvania

Most people's Thanksgiving turkeys are probably thawing, with the cooks prepping for a big day on Thursday. While cooks have their traditional concerns this holiday, safety officials and police have classic concerns of their own. Drunk driving accidents are on the list of concerns.

That traffic safety concern makes a recent Mothers Against Drunk Driving announcement timely. With the end of the year just around the corner, MADD announced its pride regarding certain legislative efforts to curb the risk of drunk driving in Pennsylvania this year.

Two different proposals were introduced by and to Pennsylvania lawmakers that would put a strict DUI law in place for convicted drunk drivers. Lawmakers have the opportunity to require that anyone who is found guilty of driving drunk use an ignition interlock device on their cars.

Basically, the devices work as breathalyzer tests on a vehicle. If the device senses that there is alcohol in the driver's system, he or she wouldn't be able to start the car. MADD and other anti-DUI advocates support strict, widespread use of ignition interlock devices. They think that they discourage drunk driving and also keep impaired drivers off of the roads.

Requiring first-time offenders to have ignition interlock devices on their vehicles would be increasing the severity of DUI laws in Pennsylvania. When there is an update regarding the proposed legislation aimed at prevention DUI crashes, we will post an update. For now, law enforcement, MADD members, traffic safety advocates and Pennsylvania drivers should take extreme caution to avoid driving drunk and drunk drivers this Thanksgiving.

Source: MADD, "MADD Applauds 'Legislative Champions'," Alison Smith, Nov. 19, 2013

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