Augusta, ME (PRWEB) July 02, 2013
Maine Governor Paul LaPage signed into law lifesaving legislation which highly incentivizes the use of ignition interlocks for all first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater to help prevent future offenses. With the passage of this law, Maine joins a long list of 19 other states to pass all offender ignition interlock legislation, bringing the total number of people now protected from repeat drunk driving offenders to greater than 115 million.
“As part of the Maine legislature, I make every effort to improve the safety of our residents, my neighbors. I am proud to have been instrumental in the passage of the Ignition Interlock Law and want to thank Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for their commitment to eliminate drunk driving and end this 100 percent preventable crime,” said Representative Bob Nutting. “With this legislation we are creating safer roads across Maine. My hope is that we will soon see a time when drinking and driving are a thing of the past,” Nutting continued.
Beginning December 1, 2013, when the new law goes into effect, a first-time offender can either choose a six-month license suspension with no driving privileges or a 30-day license suspension followed by 150 days on an ignition interlock. “This is a great day for the people of Maine, who are now safer on their roadways,” said MADD National President Jan Withers. “In addition, we are now one state closer to the passage of legislation in every state requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.”
“AAA supports the use of ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders, as they are an effective option for ensuring alcohol consumption doesn’t mix with driving. AAA Northern New England commends the Maine legislature for their passage of this bill and their commitment to the safety of Maine roadway users. Requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted offenders has proven to be more effective than other DUI sanctions and can reduce alcohol-impaired driving crashes and save lives,” said Pat Moody, AAA Northern New England.
Ignition interlocks are leased by the convicted drunk drivers, with an average daily cost of $2.50. Under LD 1260, if an offender cannot afford an ignition interlock, the device is provided at a cheaper cost. An OUI offender applying for an interlock must also pay a $50 administrative fee to the state.
“The use of ignition interlocks is a big step forward in our goal to end drunk driving on Maine’s roads. These devices have the power to save lives and help offenders at the same time,” added Nutting. “Convicted drunk drivers who have an interlock can keep their jobs, keep going to school, and at the same time, keep the public safe.”
Studies show that a first-time convicted drunk driver is not a first-time offender, but rather it is simply the first time they have been caught. In fact, first-time offenders have driven drunk an average of 80 times before they are convicted.
The passage of ignition interlock laws is a key element of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® which was launched in 2006. For more information, please visit http://www.madd.org/campaign.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents ™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at http://www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.