Reintroduces "John's Law" Bill
Bill Would Help Prevent Drinking and Driving
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-2) reintroduced the "John's Law" bill which will encourage all states to enact legislation already in place in New Jersey to require law enforcement officers to impound motor vehicles of those charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). The measure would make states that adopt DWI vehicle impoundment programs eligible to receive federal funds under the existing Alcohol Impaired Countermeasures Program. The bill was passed separately last year by the House and Senate, and was included in the Transportation Equity Act, which did not pass before Congress adjourned for the year.
The motivation for this legislation comes in response to the tragic accident that took the life of U.S. Navy Ensign John Elliott, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. "I am hopeful this legislation will go a long way to prevent deaths like John's, and ensure that families across the nation are saved from the pain that my family has experienced," said Bill Elliott, John's father.
"We will soon observe the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of U.S. Navy Ensign, John Elliott, who was struck and killed shortly after he received his Naval Flight School commission," said Rep. LoBiondo. "The driver responsible for this sad incident had previously been arrested for drunk driving earlier that night. He was released to a friend and returned to his car and struck and killed John. This was a preventable tragedy, and by passing this bill, we can continue the fight against drunk driving."
Nearly five years after the tragic accident, Ensign Elliott's parents continue the fight to save other families from the grief that they have endured. Elliott's parents were successful in lobbying the New Jersey State Legislature and saw the drafting, passage and ultimate enactment of John's Law. The law ensures that individuals who pick up an arrested driver sign a document accepting custody. Additionally it gives state law enforcement agencies the authorization to impound the automobile of an arrested driver for up to twelve hours.
A similar bill was also introduced in the United
States Senate by Senator Jon Corzine.
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Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-2)
February 2, 2005