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Senator Rafferty

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) today awarded Senator John Rafferty (R-44) its 2015 Leadership Award in recognition of his efforts to expand the use of ignition interlock devices for DUI offenders.

The foundation cited Rafferty’s outstanding commitment to fighting drunk driving, and his leadership in strengthening Pennsylvania’s existing interlock program and increasing the number of devices installed in vehicles in the state.

Rafferty, who is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, sponsored Senate Bill 290, which unanimously passed the Senate.  It has been widely lauded by members of law enforcement as a way to prevent DUIs and save lives.

“Ignition interlock devices are highly effective for both repeat drunk drivers and first-time DUI offenders,” Rafferty said.  “Interlocks have the most potential to reduce recidivism when coupled with other effective interventions such as assessment and treatment.”

Currently, all 50 states have passed some form of interlock legislation and achieved different degrees of program implementation. At present, 25 states and four counties in California have passed mandatory interlock provisions for all DUI offenses, including first offenses. However, more work is needed to strengthen existing practices and increase program participation rates.

“We applaud Senator Rafferty for his longtime leadership to prevent drunk driving on Pennsylvania’s roadways,” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of Responsibility.org. “He sends a clear and consistent message that drunk driving is dangerous, illegal and preventable. We hope the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will follow the Senate’s lead and pass Senate Bill 290 this session. We look forward to expanding our relationship and continuing to save lives in the future with Senator Rafferty.”

CONTACT: Nolan Ritchie, Senate Transportation Committee, 717-787-1398