New Kansas regulation requires a camera with all ignition interlock device installations

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OLATHE, Kan. -- A new regulation went into effect in Kansas on Wedesday, making it harder for previous offenders to drive drunk again.

It's a relief for a local family that has been pushing for tighter laws around drinking and driving for years after losing a loved one.

"They're hard to look at," John Groves said, holding pictures that tell the story of the night his son, Matt, was hit and killed by a drunk driver in 2011.

"Matt was helping somebody that night," Groves added.

A stranger's car ran out of gas on a main street in Leavenworth. Matt and his friends from church were helping push it out of the way. That's when the driver of a 2011 Ford Escape hit him.

That driver was drunk. Her blood alcohol content was .16 -- twice the legal limit.

"I've seen a lot of horrific accidents, people losing their lives and really people destroying their own lives for a drunk driving arrest," Shawnee Police Officer Roman Madrigal said.

Just a few months after Matt was killed, Groves said ignition interlock devices became mandatory following a DUI conviction. They're breathalyzers attached to a vehicle that prevent someone from driving if their BAC is too high.

But Groves knows people can cheat to get around those devices.

"I know that they’ve been circumvented in the past," Groves said. "They would have someone blow into it and then drive their car."

But it's going to be a lot harder to cheat now.

Thanks to a new regulation, all devices installed must be equipped with a camera. The Alcohol Detection Systems ignition interlock device has one built-in.

"I'm very sure that it'll save somebody's life because your car's not going to start," Groves said.

"We're hoping that it's just another little bit of the piece to kind of discourage people from drunk driving and keep our roads safe," Madrigal said.

That's why Groves continues to be an advocate for victims of drunk driving, some of whom are no longer here.

"If I've changed one person's mind about drinking and driving, I've done my job," he said.

As for those devices without cameras already in vehicles, they're grandfathered in until 2021.



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