Ignition interlocks will be mandatory for vehicles of all drunken drivers in proposed legislation that won praise Monday in South San Francisco from a mother whose 22-year-old son was killed by a drunken driver.
Alameda County resident Matthew Klotzbach, a history major at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, died July 29, 2001.
A drunk driver broadsided the Jeep Wrangler the Klotzbach family was riding home after a trip to the coast with Matthew, who was home on leave.
Matthew’s mother Mary Klotzbach said at a press conference about the legislation by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, that the revolving door of repeat DUI offenders has to end.
“We need to stop the bleeding,” she said. “We can use technology to stop drunk driving.”
The legislation would expand a statewide pilot program and require first-time DUI offenders and others to install an ignition interlock in their vehicles to reinstate their driver’s license.
California law now requires repeat DUI offenders and only certain first-time offenders to provide a sober breath sample via an ignition interlock for their vehicles to start.
Hill said suspending the driver licenses of offenders doesn’t stop them — and that the ignition interlock requirement is necessary.
He spoke about his best friend who was killed in 1984 by a drunken driver in Tennessee. Such deaths devastate families, Hill said.
“His father never recovered,” the lawmaker said.
The press conference also highlighted South San Francisco Police Department’s “Choose Your Ride” campaign. Make a safe choice for a ride after drinking or you may be transported in the back of a police car — or a hearse on the way to the morgue, the campaign notes.
Lt. Keith Wall of the South San Francisco Police Department said law enforcement is vigilant about DUI offenders.
“We’re out there looking every day,” Wall said. “Our officers are always looking.”
Mary Klotzbach, who is chairwoman of the California Public Policy Committee for Mothers Against Drunk Driver, spoke about becoming a Lyft driver — and sharing her son’s Matt’s story with riders.
Klotzbach, a nurse at an East Bay trauma center, said her son chose a life of service.
He is saving lives in a way we never anticipated, she said of the Matthew Klotzbach Mandatory Ignition Interlock for DUI Offender Act.
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