BOSTON (WPRI) — In the wake of a motorcycle crash that killed seven people, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) paid a visit to Massachusetts to continue to push for updates to the state’s drunk driving laws.
Helen Witty held a photo of her daughter, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2001, as she spoke at the Massachusetts State House Wednesday in support of an “all-offender interlock bill.”
Witty’s visit to the Bay State was prompted by a motorcycle crash in New Hampshire that killed seven people.
The driver who caused the crash, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy of West Springfield, had previously received a citation for allegedly driving under the influence and refusing to submit a chemical test in Connecticut.
Zhukovskyy also lost his license back in 2013 because of an OUI charge when he was under the age of 21. Despite this, he went on to revive his commercial driver’s license in 2018.
The aftermath of the crash put a spotlight on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and its procedures when reporting violations across state lines.
Witty said Massachusetts is the only state in the nation that doesn’t allow for in-car breathalyzers for first-time drunk driving offenders.
“This is a simple way that it can be stopped that allows the offender to keep living,” Witty said. “They can go to work, they can take their kids to school, as long as they provide a breath that shows they are not drunk. It’s a no-brainer.”
According to MADD, statistics show a first-time drunk driving offender isn’t actually a first-time offender. MADD said based on its research, a first-time offender has driven drunk between 80 and 200 times prior to their arrest.
Bills in support of the interlock bill are already making their way through the committees in both the House and Senate.
MADD hopes for a hearing on the bills when the legislative session picks back up in the fall.