"To these lawmakers who worked tirelessly to protect our families from drunk drivers and to help protect our young people from underage drinking, we are forever grateful." - Jan Withers, MADD National President
Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 04, 2014
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) today announced its 2014 Legislative Champions – 81 legislators honored for their contribution to eliminate drunk driving, advance the rights of drunk driving victims and prevent underage drinking.
“MADD graciously thanks these lawmakers who authored and helped advance legislation central to MADD’s mission of eliminating drunk driving, serving victims and preventing underage drinking,” said MADD National President Jan Withers. “To these lawmakers who worked tirelessly to protect our families from drunk drivers and to help protect our young people from underage drinking, we are forever grateful.”
Many of these legislative champions play a major role in MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, which was launched in 2006. A key component of the Campaign calls for the passage of all-offender alcohol ignition interlock laws, which requires the use of an interlock, or in-car breathalyzer, for any convicted drunk driver. Prior to the Campaign, only one state (New Mexico) had an all-offender interlock law. Today, 24 states have enacted all-offender interlock laws.
The four states that enacted all-offender interlock laws in 2014 are:
- #21: Alabama passed SB 319, authored by Senator Bill Holtzclaw and Representative Allen Farley.
- #22: In Mississippi, leadership from Speaker Philip Gunn, Senator Hopson and Representatives Andy Gipson and Kevin Horan proved to be instrumental in the passage of HB 412.
- #23: In New Hampshire, Representative Stephen Shurtleff authored HB 496.
- #24: In Delaware, Representatives Helene Keeley and Steve Smyk along with Senate Majority Leader McBride authored HB 212.
Of note, five other states made lifesaving improvements to their existing ignition interlock laws:
- Connecticut’s new law will ensure that more than 6,500 first-time offenders will now have to install ignition interlock devices.
- In 2011, Kansas lawmakers enacted an all-offender interlock law, but with a sunset (or end) date of 2015. With the leadership of Representative Rubin and Senator King, HB 2427 made the Kansas all-offender interlock law permanent.
- Rhode Island and South Carolina enacted laws requiring interlocks for all repeat offenders and first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater.
- Indiana enacted legislation requiring interlocks for repeat offenders and to allow judges to order the devices for first-time offenders.
This December MADD will recognize 81 lawmakers for their tireless work and commitment to saving lives. For more information on their accomplishments, please visit: madd.org/blog.
2014 MADD Legislators of the Year
- Alabama: Representative Allen Farley and Senator Bill Holtzclaw
- Connecticut: Representative Al Adinolfi, Senator Danté Bartomeleo, Senator Eric Coleman, Senator Leonard Fasano, Representative Daniel Fox, Representative Gerald Fox III, Representative Themis Klarides, Senator Gayle Slossberg, Senator Martin Looney, Representative Richard Smith and Representative Lezlye Zupkus
- Colorado: Representative Mike Johnston, Representative Mark Waller, Representative Lori Saine, Representative Polly Lawrence, Representative Bob Gardner, Representative Rhonda Fields, Representative Dave Young, Representative Kathleen Conti, Representative KC Becker and Senator Cheri Jahn
- Delaware: Representative Helene M. Keeley, Representative Stephen T. Smyk and Senate Majority Leader David B. McBride
- Florida: Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Representative Bryan Nelson and Representative Irv Slosberg
- Indiana: Representative Cindy Kirchhofer and Senator Pete Miller
- Iowa: Representative Chip Baltimore, Senator Chris Brase and Senator Brian Schoenjahn
- Kansas: Senator Jeff King and Representative John Rubin
- Kentucky: Representative Julie Raque Adams and Representative Dennis Keene
- Louisiana: Senator Jonathan Perry and Representative Sherman Q. Mack
- Maine: Representative Tim Marks
- Maryland: Delegate Sam Arora
- Mississippi: Speaker Philip Gunn, Representative Kevin Horan, Senator Briggs Hopson and Representative Andy Gipson
- New Hampshire: Representative Steve Shurtleff
- New Jersey: Senator Nicholas Scutari and Assemblywoman Linda Stender
- New York: Senator John DeFrancisco and Assemblyman Samuel Roberts
- Oregon: Representative Jim Thompson, Representative Jeff Barker, Representative Kim Thatcher and Senator Rod Monroe
- Pennsylvania: Senator John Rafferty and Representative Dave Hickernell
- Rhode Island: Senator V. Susan Sosnowski, Representative Gregg Amore, Representative Michael J. Marcello, Representative Raymond E. Gallison, Jr., Senator Michael J. McCaffrey, Representative Cale Keable, Senator M. Theresa Paiva Weed, Senator Maryellen Goodwin, Senator Stephen R. Archambault, Representative Nicholas A. Mattiello and Representative J. Patrick O’Neill
- South Carolina: Senator Joel Lourie, Senator Larry Martin, Senator Michael Fair, Senator Ronnie Cromer, Senator Brad Hutto, Representative L Kit Spires, Representative Rick Quinn, Representative Edward R. “Eddie” Tallon, Sr, Representative Todd Atwater, Representative David Weeks, Representative Ralph Kennedy and Representative James Smith
- West Virginia: Senator Robert D. Beach
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 ten 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.
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