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Lawmakers Work on Tougher DUI Laws | Crime

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Lawmakers Work on Tougher DUI Laws

LAS VEGAS -- Lawmakers are currently looking at toughening up on DUI laws. State officials and lawmakers are planning to file bill drafts for the 2011 state legislative session that would put tougher restrictions on drunk drivers.

For Joan Eddowes, DUI is personal. She lost her 17-year-old son, Mark, to a drunk driver back in 1991.

"Just slammed into my son, who was on a bicycle coming home from work, and literally just tore his body to pieces," she said.

The accident happened only two weeks before his high school graduation.

"You never think its going to happen to you. You never think you are going to be put in that position," she said.

For nearly two decades, Eddowes has been a DUI advocate and supports tougher laws against DUI. That's something lawmakers are currently looking at drafting bills for upcoming legislation.

"Whatever they come up with, it can only help. It can't hurt," she said.

Among some of the changes being looked at are requiring impaired drivers to use a breathe ignition device. That device stops convicted impaired drivers from starting their car if the driver has been drinking.

Other things being looked at are making all drivers involved in fatal crashes be tested for alcohol and a psychiatric evaluation for drunk drivers over a .18 blood alcohol level.

"Had there been some of that stuff in place back in 1991, maybe my son would still be here today," said Eddowes.

Eddowes admits while no piece of legislation will ever bring her son back, it could help prevent others from living through the same pain.

"Let's get on it and save more lives. Every day that goes by there are other lives that are taken," she said.

Because the wording is still being worked on, there won't likely be anything in a bill form until sometime in December.