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News

June 6, 2014

Lifesaving Legislation Passed

CONCORD —Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) applauds the New Hampshire House Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff and the entire New Hampshire Legislature for passing HB 496, which will protect the public from drunk drivers.

The new law will expand the use of ignition interlocks to include first-time offenders with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater who seek to drive during a license suspension period. This lifesaving legislation, which awaits the Governor’s signature, will go into on effect January 1, 2016.

“We are thankful HB 496 has passed the legislature as it will save lives and protect the public from drunk drivers,” said MADD National President Jan Withers. “We commend Majority Leader Shurtleff for his leadership in passing this legislation which is MADD’s number one legislative priority.  MADD calls on Governor Hassan to sign this lifesaving legislation into law.”

When MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving in 2006 only one state, New Mexico, had interlock legislation for all offenders. Today, New Hampshire joins 22 other states that have passed lifesaving legislation all-offender interlock legislation.

Ignition interlocks are a strong deterrent to drunk driving behavior, as ignition interlocks separate drinking from driving and teaches sober driving—which license suspension alone does not accomplish Interlocks are more effective than license suspension alone, as 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license and are an effective countermeasure to reduce drunk driving recidivism.

Under the new law, offenders can apply for an interlock restricted license forty-five days after conviction and must use an interlock for the remainder of the license suspension period.  The interlock-restricted license allows for driving privileges for certain reasons including employment, seeking employment, treatment, job training, and medical care for the offender or family member. Offenders who apply for an interlock-restricted license will pay a $100.00 administrative fee to offset costs to the state.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ignition interlocks laws are found to reduce repeat offenses by 67 percent. States with similar laws have reduced drunk driving fatalities by 38 percent in New Mexico, 35 percent in Louisiana, 43 percent in Arizona and 42 percent in Oregon.

For more information on ignition interlocks, visit www.madd.org/interlock.

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Obituaries
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

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  • James Reese

    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

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  • Velma J. Reid

    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

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  • Carleen A. Knowlton, 80

    Danville, NH — Carleen A. (Rhoadhouse) Knowlton, 80, of Danville and formerly of Hampstead, died on July 7, 2014, at her home.

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  • Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84

    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

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