Tennessee lawmakers and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) want everyone convicted of driving while under the influence to be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles.
The device requires the driver to blow into it and the device checks for alcohol. If the person has alcohol on their breath the device will not allow the vehicle to start.
In Tennessee, first time offenders with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or more would have to get the device installed.
House Bill 353 and its Senate companion Bill 670 would require the device for first-time offenders convicted of dui with a BAC more than .08, which is the legal limit.
"Hopefully it will save lives in Tennessee," Senate sponsor Mae Beavers (R) Mt. Juliet said.
According to research from MADD, the interlock devices reduce repeat offenses by 67%.
In Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico and Louisiana the use of the devices for all offenders have cut DUI deaths by 33%.
Benson had been out drinking the previous night. When she was arrested Benson told investigators she thought she was in the backseat of a taxi, not driving her car.
Rebekah Leonard, Steffanie's sister and her family have worked to raise awareness about the effects of drinking and driving.
"I definitely think it is a good idea because you have people who say I will never do it again but that one night can come up and you think you are ok but you are really not," she said. "That for me is the hardest thing, knowing that one decision changed everything forever."
Benson pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in November. She is serving two years in prison and will then serve eight years probation.
"I just want people to value life so when they get to that point they don't just think about their life it is also their family's life," she said. "Because not only is it the victim and the survivors it is the person who made that choice. Their family suffers as well."
The Senate version of the bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The House version has not been assigned to a committee yet.
Thursday, August 28 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:28:07 GMT
Fifteen children were removed from a home in Woodruff andseveral adults who were responsible for their care have been arrested.The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit worked the case Tuesday at a home on Hunter Road.More >>
Fifteen children were removed from a home in Woodruff andseveral adults who were responsible for their care have been arrested.The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit worked the case Tuesday at a home on Hunter Road. More >>