Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 19, 2011
Sen. Clark Jolley
Erin Swezey Act one step away from becoming law
The Erin Swezey Act is on its way to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.
Thursday both the House and Senate gave overwhelming support to
Senate Bill 529, a measure named for a 20-year-old Oklahoma State
University student from Edmond who was killed by a drunk driver
Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, is principal author of SB 529. He authored
the bill at the request of Erin’s parents, Keith and Dixie
Swezey, who sought the greater use of mandatory interlock devices
as a way to keep more drunk drivers off the road and reduce fatalities.
“I’m extremely proud of the Senate and the House for
making this important commitment to public safety with the passage
of the Erin Swezey Act,” said Jolley, R-Edmond. “Right
now, Oklahoma is among the top six states in the nation in drunk
driving fatalities. This gives us the tools we need to save lives.”
In the final version of the bill approved by lawmakers, an interlock
device would be required on a first conviction for those with a
blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher for 18 months. For
a second or subsequent offense, the mandate would apply to those
with a BAC of .08. The interlock device would be mandatory for four
years on a second offense, and for five years for subsequent offenses.
In addition, the individual’s driver license would have the
designation “Interlock Required” as long as the device’s
use is mandated.
“We know this will help us save lives from what we’ve
seen in other states. Right now there are 13 that require interlock
devices for those convicted of DUI, and it has resulted in at least
a 30 percent drop in fatalities in those states. In Arizona, they’ve
reduced drunk driving deaths by 46 percent.”
SB 529, authored by Rep. Jason Nelson in the House of Representatives,
now goes to Gov. Fallin for her signature. Jolley expressed his
thanks to Nelson for his work and to fellow lawmakers for supporting
the bill and said he is hopeful Gov. Fallin will sign the measure
into law. If approved, the Erin Swezey Act will be effective as
of November 1, 2011.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Jolley: (405) 521-5622