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Family of deputy killed by wrong-way driver want DUI interlocks for everyone

March 14th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

This past Sunday marked the one year anniversary of the death of Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriff John Kotfila. The lone witnesses says Kotfila positioned his car in front to hers and was hit by a drunk wrong-way driver on the Selman expressway. Today, the deputy’s family were in the Capitol seeking stronger laws.

The driver of the car that killed Deputy John Kotfila had a blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit. Terry and John Sr, his parents, spent the day walking the halls of the state Capitol, talking to anyone who would listen.

“He was killed a year ago by a wrong-way driver.” terry told one aide.

They want to require everyone convicted of DUI to have an ignition interlock device.

“You always know that every time they put on that badge, them may not come home,  But never did I think that it would be due to a drunk driver” says Terry.

Currently, only those caught driving at twice the legal limit are required to have the devices.

On any given day, about ten thousand people in Florida have to blow into one of these before the car will start. most of them are second, third or fourth time offends.”

In Massachusetts, where John Sr is a state trooper, the devices are required for every offender.

“In the last nine years, 38 thousand times, someone has tried to get behind the wheel of a car over the legal limit and was stopped from doing that because of this device. It’s time for Florida to pass this” aid the Deputy’s father.

Terry Kotfila says she now worries about her daughter, who will soon graduate from a police academy.

“Although we are very proud and supportive of her, it’s bittersweet because she will be patrolling the same streets where so many have lost their lives, and where her brother was killed.”

29 other states already require interlock devices for most if not all DUI offenders.

Nationwide, MADD says two point three million would be drunk drivers have been stopped from driving by interlock devices in the states where they are required.

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