November 21, 2013
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently announced its “2013 Legislative Champions” and recognized Representative Dennis Keene and Representative Julie Raque Adams for their leadership within the Kentucky Legislature to stop drunk driving and protect the rights of victims.
“MADD thanks Representatives Keene and Adams for their dedication and commitment to advancing MADD’s mission in Kentucky,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.
In 2013, Representative Dennis Keene authored HB 286 requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. MADD hopes the legislation will advance in 2014. Representative Julie Adams authored HB 32 eliminating the option of judges granting “shock probation” for offenders convicted of killing in a DUI crash. Shock probation allows judges to reduce sentences of convicted drunk drivers who cause the deaths of victims. Kentucky is one of only six states that allows for the practice of shock probation.
“I am honored to be recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving not for myself, but for the thousands of victims and their families out there who have suffered because of a drunk driving incident. I will continue the fight for legislation to make Kentucky’s highways safer by getting and keeping drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel of an automobile.” Representative Dennis Keene.
“As a public servant, and more importantly as a proud mother of two sons, I want to do everything possible to keep Kentucky’s children safe from those who recklessly choose to drink and drive on our streets,” said Representative Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville (32nd District). “I am humbled and appreciative that Mothers Against Drunk Driving have selected me as their Kentucky legislator of the year, and I pledge to continue pushing for legislation that will strengthen our DUI laws and keep the roadways safe for our families.”
“MADD appreciates Representative Keene’s unwavering stand to improve the DUI law by requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. The ignition interlock is a proven tool to reduce fatalities and injuries due to driving under the influence of alcohol. The time is long overdue for Kentucky’s DUI law to receive an upgrade,” said Kentucky volunteer Lois Windhorst. “MADD applauds and is grateful to Representative Adams for trying to put an end to anti-drunk driving victim practice of shock probation. We hope legislation eliminating the practice of shock probation advances in 2014,” continued Windhorst.
As part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® that was launched in 2006, MADD advocates for laws requiring for all convicted drunk drivers for at least six months like HB 286 authored by Representative Keene. Prior to the Campaign, only one state (New Mexico), required ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Today, 20 states require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Kentucky is one of only a few states to have an ignition interlock decided solely on a judge’s discretion.
For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit madd.org/interlock.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.