Mom applauds latest DUI interlock bill years after daughter's death

Mom applauds latest DUI interlock bill years after daughter's death
Lawmakers hope increasing the amount of interlock devices could help reduce DUI-related deaths.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - DUI-related crashes claim hundreds of Alabama lives every year. Lawmakers hope new laws increasing the amount of interlock devices could help reduce the death toll.

Mothers who have seen their families rocked by drunk drivers celebrated as a bill signing which will requite more people convicted of DUIs to have interlock devices. For one mother, the new law marks the end of a 13-year journey and the hope is that these devices will save lives.

"Something positive has to come out of the worst thing that could ever happen to you," said Laura Harmon.

For Harmon, that worst think happened 13 years ago when her daughter, Stephanie, was killed in a drunk driving accident.

"Your gut just drops. You're in shock," Harmon said.

The other driver was going the wrong way, drunk at 2:30 in the afternoon.

"You are just so mad, because this didn't have to happen," she said.

Since then Laura joined other mothers going through similar tragedies to change things. Pushing legislation to have interlock devices for those with DUIs.

The first bill passed in 2012 with high expectations of reducing fatalities.

"So if we can reduce that by 40, 45 50 percent, look at the lives to be saved," Harmon said.

But it didn't happen. Since the 2012 law passed, DUI-related fatalities have increased in Alabama. But those like Harmon say there were loopholes allowing some drunk drivers to drive drunk again.

"It wasn't the bill that we wanted," said Harmon. "This is."

The new legislation will make it more likely first-time offenders could have these devices in their cars and include them as part of pretrial diversionary programs.

With the devices stopping some from driving drunk, the hope is it will save lives.

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