Mass. Reports More Drunk Driving Arrests, Rehabs Under New Law

October 31, 2008

State officials say that since Melanie’s Law was enacted, more suspected drunken drivers are being arrested, and more repeat offenders are completing a program to keep them from drinking and driving.

Motor Vehicles Registrar Rachel Kaprielian said nearly 20 percent more drivers are being arrested, and fewer are refusing to take a Breathalyzer test.

She said 553 drivers convicted of more than two drunken driving violations have completed the ignition interlock program and only two have been re-arrested. The hand-held device linked to a car’s ignition monitors the driver’s blood alcohol level and prevents the car from starting if the driver is impaired. Nearly 4,000 people are using the device.

The 2005 law toughened safeguards and penalties for drunken driving. It was named for a 13-year-old girl killed in an accident with a repeat drunken driver.

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