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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Dingell Honors Abbas Family on House Floor

January 10, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) announced she would be introducing legislation to crack down on drunk driving in a speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives in memory of the Abbas family.

 

Michigan family – Issam, Rima, Ali, Isabelle, and Giselle Abbas – were tragically killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver while returning from a family vacation in Florida.

“In every sense of the word, they were our community,” Dingell said on the House Floor. “The parents were born and raised in Dearborn. Rima served many as a respected doctor at Beaumont, and had just been promoted to head all the doctors at the hospital. And Issam had a successful career as a lawyer and real estate agent. Children, Ali aged 13, Isabelle aged 12, and Giselle aged 7 were gifts from god and the center of their parents lives but so many others in Dearborn. Their family, their very extended family, was devoted to everything that they did. Their absence stunned this community and is felt deeply and emotionally.”

Dingell pledged to introduce legislation this week to reduce alcohol-impaired driving.

“I have to go home to a community is still grieving. I can’t look them in the eye unless we are really willing to try to do something,” Dingell continued. “This week, I’m introducing legislation in memory of the Abbas family that would mandate all new vehicles be equipped with interlock breathalyzer devices. This will stop intoxicated drivers from ever starting a vehicle and keep them off the roads. If we can keep one person from dying on the roads and make people think twice before getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t – even when they are buzzed and think they’ll be ok – then won’t we have been successful?”

Dingell concluded, “Nothing will bring back the Abbas family. But their lives were too important to forget. Our community will deeply miss them but we need to make sure that their death is not in vain, we are dedicate to their memories and others we know to try to prevent another life being lost this way senselessly.”

Dingell has introduced the Abbas Stop Drunk Driving Act. The legislation would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to set a federal motor vehicle safety standard that would require all new vehicles to be equipped with an ignition interlock device. DOT would have to complete this standard within one year. On Thursday, Dingell delivered a speech on the House floor in memory of the Abbas family and announced the legislation. Dingell is working with her colleagues in Congress, the auto industry, and stakeholders to pass this legislation and stop drunk driving.

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This press release has been updated.

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