MADD Awards 5 Stars to 13 States for Efforts to End Drunk Driving

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MADD releases the 2015 Report to the Nation

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Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving released its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving: 2015 Report to the Nation, an update of MADD’s efforts to end the completely preventable crime of drunk driving. The report provides an overview of legislative accomplishments, highlights state-by-state drunk driving reform and offers a glimpse of what is on the horizon as MADD enters its 35th anniversary year.

“2015 promises to bring a year of change, growth and celebration as MADD celebrates 35 years of saving lives,” said MADD’s new National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, whose 18-year-old son was killed in a drunk and drugged driving crash. “Our work is far from over. This year, we want to make even more progress through MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving by advocating for mandatory ignition interlock laws in the 26 states without them, continuing to support law enforcement efforts to catch and deter drunk drivers and encouraging the development of in-vehicle technology that will one day make drunk driving impossible.”

A key feature of the Campaign’s report is MADD’s five-star rating of each state, based on the adoption of the following drunk driving laws and/or implementation of proven countermeasures:

  •     Requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers
  •     Conducting sobriety checkpoints
  •     Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
  •     Participating in “no-refusal” activities for those suspected of drunk driving
  •     Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk driving offenders

The Campaign’s impact is evident. This year, Delaware, Mississippi and Alabama joined the 10 other states in earning a five-star rating for passing interlock laws for all offenders. New Hampshire elevated its rating from three to four stars by enacting this life-saving measure. Two states, Rhode Island and Montana, received a one-star rating.

“MADD’s highest legislative priority is for every state to pass an all-offender interlock law,” Sheehey-Church added. “Across the nation, states like New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana have seen a 36 to 45 percent reduction in drunk driving fatalities. This is a proven method for saving lives while reforming dangerous drunk driving behavior.”

The report also highlights federal ignition interlock grant dollars that could be available to states that pass laws requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install interlock devices. The $20 million in grant funds were established as part of the 2012 federal highway bill, known as MAP-21. States considering interlock legislation in 2015, such as California, New Jersey, and Maryland, could apply for hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to help defray the cost of administering an interlock program should they pass new and stronger interlock laws.

“A key part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is to help overcome obstacles to passing effective laws that will stop this 100 percent preventable crime,” said Debbie Weir, chief executive officer of MADD. “MADD’s campaign is a blueprint for the nation in which no family suffers the tragic and lifelong consequences of drunk driving.”

To view MADD’s Report to the Nation, visit madd.org/campaignreport. MADD is the sole author of the report, which is based on 34 years of experience working to pass lifesaving legislation, along with data from various respected government, research and public safety organization sources. For more information about MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, 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 celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD 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. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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Heather Wedel
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