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Aug 10, 2010 7:17 PM by Melissa Hawkes

New Drinking and Driving Laws

Five new laws against people who drink and drive will take effect this year.

Karen Stelly lost her son Shawn Lancon three years ago in the hands of a drunk driver.

"I have to take something every night or I don't sleep," she said. "I see my son in that ditch dieing--that's what I see."

She said life has never been the same.

"I wake up and pray every morning that no other mother has to go what I'm going through...what my whole family is going through," she said.

Lancon was a passenger in the car. Stelly said the driver was intoxicated and hit another car.

"There should be stricter laws because they are still getting behind the wheel and drinking and driving--thinking it won't happen to them,"

Officials agree that Louisiana is in need of tougher drinking and driving laws. Two new laws were authored by a State Representative Jonathon Perry of Kaplan.

Perry said, "I just saw first hand exactly what it can do. Everyone always says I feel really sorry for that family, but I don't think its going to happen to my family. When it does, you can't do anything about it."

Perry said drinking in South Louisiana is part of the culture, but people need to be more responsible.

"If you can save one life to drinking and driving then that's saying a lot," he explained.

Starting August 15, if a driver under the influence of alcohol kills an unborn child, they will lose their license for two years.

On January 1, 2011 previous DWI offenders who have a court ordered ignition interlock device on their car will have a code on their license indicating that offense. Perry said, with the new code officers can identify offenders quickly.

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