LOUISIANA (KLFY) – Louisiana State Representative Rick Edmonds proposed House Bill 484 requiring drivers with a suspended license to prove they will drive sober before their license can be reinstated.

This life saving bill also lowers the blood alcohol content at DUI checkpoints. Mary-Patricia Wray, the founder of Top Drawer Strategies, government relations consultant for Mothers Against Drunk Driving says the bill has been in the works for a few years. “It’s been in the works for about four years, and we finally got over the hump at the legislature with almost no opposition to the bill,” says Wray.

In Louisiana, any driver with a blood alcohol content greater than .08% is considered driving while intoxicated. Within the last five years, two-thirds of Louisiana drivers arrested for a DWI showed a blood alcohol content of .10 or higher. LAHB 4-84 recently passed in efforts to help prevent repeat offenders of driving while intoxicated. Wray says this bill also is an attempt to decrease fatal crashes related to drunk driving. “House Bill 484 by Representative Rick Edmonds will bring Louisiana in line with about forty-six other states and the District of Columbia to address our really horrible statistics around alcohol related road fatalities.”

This bill will require drivers with a suspended license due to a DWI to prove they will drive sober by using technology to start the car. “This measure will require defendants who’ve been accused and convicted of DWI to either sit out the term of their driver license suspension or drive where they want whenever they want with proper monitoring,” says Wray.

Prior to bill passing, Louisiana did not have harsh consequences for first time offenders with blood alcohol contents of .20 or lower. “This bill lowers the legal alcohol rate to about twice the legal limit and it requires those extra steps to be taken on the first offense.”

In a statement from Representative Edmonds:

“I’m so proud to partner with mothers against drunk driving to make this change that will save lives in our state. Congratulations to MADD! Its volunteer members have tirelessly and passionately advocated for this bill that reminds all of us how precious life is.”

Louisiana State Representative Rick Edmonds

MADD and all of their partners are very thankful to State Representative Rick Edmonds who worked extremely hard to pass this bill. LA house bill 484 recently passed in an effort to prevent repeat offenders from driving while intoxicated. The bill goes into effect August 1 of this year.