Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: PA DUI law now includes ignition interlocks

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 23, 2016 3:45 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, June 23, 2016:

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On the afternoon of July 8, 2014, 18-year-old Meredith Demko of Lancaster County was killed in a crash with another vehicle, driven by a man under the influence of alcohol and heroin. That driver was driving with a suspended license due to previous driving under the influence offenses.

A short time later, Meredith's parents began campaigning to make Pennsylvania's drunk driving laws tougher and more up-to-date.  The group they formed, that includes families who also have lost loved ones at the hands of a drunk driver, is called Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving (PA PAID).

Their work paid off last month when Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a bill that requires many drivers to install an ingition interlock in their vehicles, a device that measures blood alcohol levels in order to start the engine. The law will take effect in August of 2017.

Pennsylvania police made more than 18,000 DUI arrests in 2015 -- an increase of 6% from the year before.  Driving while under the influence of drugs is also increasing.

Appearing on Thursday's Smart Talk are, Chris and Susan Demko and Eileen Lee, the Director of Ignition Interlock Quality Assurance with the Pennsylvania DUI Association.

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Susan and Chris Demko and Eileen Lee join us in the studio.

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