Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 20, 2009
Sen. Don Barrington
Legislation to Reduce Drunk Driving Clears Senate
The Senate has given final approval to a measure
aimed at reducing drunk driving in Oklahoma. Sen. Don Barrington,
R-Lawton, is the principal author of Senate Bill 1185. The measure
allows those convicted of drunk driving on a second or subsequent
offence to retain their license if they agree to install an ignition
interlock device on their vehicle. This device prevents the vehicle’s
engine from starting if the driver is intoxicated.
Current law only allows an offender to volunteer to install the
device on a first offense. A second or subsequent offense usually
means suspension or revocation of the person’s driver license.
However Barrington said that often does not stop offenders from
driving, or from continuing to drive while intoxicated.
“The problem is, simply suspending the offender’s
license doesn’t stop them. The data shows us that 70 percent
of people who’ve lost their license because of DUI continue
to drive anyway,” Barrington said. “But if they agree
to a modified license and to install this device, it will stop
them from driving drunk, and it means they can continue to support
their families and contribute to society.”
The legislation was approved on Wednesday on a bipartisan vote
of 40 to 3. Among the bill’s supporters is the Green Country
Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Shawn Jenkins is the organization’s
“We’ve already seen this concept work in other states.
New Mexico is a great example. They reduced their recidivism by
60 percent. Their alcohol involved crashes are down by 30 percent
and fatalities are down by 22 percent,” said Jenkins.
SB 1185 now moves back to the House for final approval before
being sent to the governor.
For more information contact:
Sen. Barrington - (405) 521-5563