Family of fallen Hillsborough deputy fights for tougher DUI laws

- A year after the worst moment of their lives, Sgt. John Kotfila Sr. and his wife, Terry, stood before lights and cameras and said it was time for Tallahassee to take action.

"Our job is simply to make the public safe," said Kotfila. "By putting more of these interlock devices on cars for first time offenders, it will in fact do that."

During a press conference called by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) on Tuesday, they demanded lawmakers require interlock devices for anyone convicted of DUI.

The current rule only applies to repeat offenders and those who blow a .15, not .08.

"Residents and visitors deserve to drive without fear," said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church.

They started their blitz - holding a press conference and meeting with lawmakers - just as MADD reports 2015 brought a 15 percent increase in drunk drivers in Florida.

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"My son was an accident investigator," said Terry Kotfila, during an interview at the FOX 13 studio after their press conference. "He saw many deaths, accidents, and he would tell me the majority were impaired drivers, so I know he would support this. You have to fight to not break down, but you have to remember why you are doing it."

Lawmakers may debate over whether an interlock device should allow a first time offender to keep their license. Some argue automatically losing a license leads to even more illegal driving practices.

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"It allows them to continue to work, to continue to support their family," said John Kotfila.

Safety though is priority one for them, especially because their daughter, Katelyn, is going to honor her brother by becoming a Hillsborough deputy herself.

"Our story is still somewhat new, there's going to be another and another after that, ours will fade out, but hopefully it made some changes, some difference," said Terry Kotfila.

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