SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Law enforcement is warning new year’s revelers to not drink and drive going into the holiday.
In 2001 Mary Klotzbach suffered an unforgettable loss her 22-year-old son, Matt, was killed by a repeat drunk driver. "Our son Matt, home for the summer break from the US Naval Academy, was killed when we were hit by a DUI offender," said Klotzbach.
Since then she has worked to prevent other families from having to go through what she's had to endure. "We shouldn't be losing anyone for this. It's 100% preventable," said Kotzbach.
On the last weekend before the new year law enforcement from around the bay area were on hand in San Francisco urging partiers to ring in the new year safely. "Designate a driver when going to a function where there will be drinking. Please make use of transportation. Public transit, Muni, BART or ride share services will help," said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott.
Law enforcement also celebrating senate bill 1046. Starting on January 1st repeat drunk drivers and some first time drunk drivers will have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles, forcing the driver pass a breathalyzer before they can drive.
State senator jerry hill authored the bill and says the benefit is keeping drivers on the radar rather than suspending their licenses and simply having them drive illegally with that license suspension. "Well, you're watching them, basically," said Hill.
Klotzbach was instrumental in gathering support for the idea.
She says a device like this may have prevented drunk driver who killed her son from ever starting his vehicle. "The man driving that killed my son was on a suspended license. If he had had a device place on his car we would be looking at a different outcome. No mother wants to bury her child," said Klotzbach.
The anti-drunk driving advocates say the average drunk driver gets behind the wheel impaired about 80 or more before they are caught the ignition interlock device is one way of stopping them from getting behind the wheel before they injure or kill themselves or someone else.