Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 20, 2013
According to a new survey, 2013 Survey of Currently-Installed Interlocks in the U.S., conducted by Impact DWI, Inc., there are nearly 305,000 ignition interlock devices currently installed in the United States. This demonstrates that usage of interlocks has increased at a rate of 30,000 units installed per year over the past eight years, while the number of drunk driving fatalities has been decreasing during the same time period.
The findings of this survey validate the success of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® launched by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2006. Ignition interlocks, a key element in MADD’s Campaign, are devices that require breath tests of convicted drunk drivers before their vehicles will start. The Campaign calls for the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) .08 or greater.
“The Campaign is working to save lives and prevent drunk driving,” said MADD National President Jan Withers. “However, more needs to be done. This survey clearly shows that the states with all-offender ignition interlock laws have seen a reduction in the number of lives lost as a result of drunk driving crashes.”
States with well implemented ignition interlock laws have seen significant reductions in drunk driving deaths. Most recently in Kansas, drunk driving deaths have dropped by 31 percent due in part to their all-offender interlock law implemented in 2011.
MADD’s Campaign has been a strong voice for expanding the use of ignition interlocks to all convicted drunk drivers. Thanks, in part, to the Campaign, lawmakers are seeing that interlocks are a more effective approach to protect the public. Prior to 2006, the recommended approach in dealing with a drunk driver was license suspension without driving privileges or limited work- or time-restricted driving privileges. Since the launch of MADD’s Campaign, advocates like AAA and the National Transportation Safety Board agree that the best practice is to require the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers for at least six months.
In 2006, just over 100,000 ignition interlocks were installed in the United States and only one state, New Mexico, required ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Today, the number of interlocks installed has more than tripled and 20 states currently require or highly incentivize the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.
“MADD calls on the 30 remaining states and DC to take action and enact an all-offender interlock laws,” continued Withers. “MADD also urges those states that have enacted all-offender interlock laws to fine-tune and close loopholes so all convicted drunk drivers must go an interlock for at least six months prior to regaining unrestricted driving privileges.”
In 2013, MADD’s legislative efforts proved successful with both Maine and Tennessee enacting all-offender ignition interlock laws. Additionally, MADD worked in New York to improve Leandra’s Law by closing loopholes to increase the use of installed ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers over the previous drunk driving law which resulted in only one-third of convicted drunk drivers installing an interlock.
MADD’s 2014 Campaign strategy is underway to strengthen existing drunk driving legislation and to introduce all-offender ignition interlock laws in the remaining states.
For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit http://www.madd.org/interlock . For MADD’s model law, visit: http://www.madd.org/laws/law-overview/Draft-Ignition_Interlocks_Overview.pdf.
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 8.6 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.