Ignition Lock Bill Sees Action In Frankfort

In Frankfort, the legislative pace is picking up, as bills begin moving through committees of the Kentucky General Assembly. One bill seeing action targets drunken drivers.

In 2009, 203 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Kentucky. Nearly eight thousand Kentuckians have three or more DUI convictions.

Representative Dennis Keene believes the state needs to do more to get drunken drivers off the highways. That’s why he sponsoring legislation requiring ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk drivers. The devices prevent vehicles from being cranked by drivers who are over the blood-alcohol limit.

“Some people balk at the cost of this legislation. But while it varies from state to state, the cost is about $3 per day and the government does not bear this expense. The convicted offender pays for the device,” he says.

Similar legislation offered by Rep. Keene last year unanimously passed the House, but died in the Senate. This year’s version now has House Judiciary Committee approval.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.