CAMPAIGN TO ELIMINATE DRUNK DRIVING®
MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving celebrated several major advances in 2015 through continued support for high-visibility law enforcement, such as sobriety checkpoints, passage of ignition interlock laws for all drunk driving offenders, and development of advanced vehicle technology, called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS).
Court Monitoring With the help of funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), MADD completed a national Court Monitoring database in 2015. MADD trained staff and volunteers across the country to utilize the program and database to identify trends and track inconsistencies within the adjudication process at the local, state and national levels in an effort to create an environment of accountability in the judicial system. The national funding opportunity kick started an increase in state traffic safety funding for this critical program in various states. Death Notification Training for Law Enforcement MADD has been instructing law enforcement officers in highly specialized Death Notification Training for almost 30 years. As an organization we have a unique perspective on this specialized skill and we offer this training to law enforcement and first responders as they constantly face the task of dealing with trauma and violent unexpected deaths. With the NHTSA funding, MADD brought 100 attendees and presenters to its 35 th Anniversary National Conference for Death Notification Training to give back to our heroes that keep our roads and highways safe. Participants received six hours of intensive instruction and were also invited to the entire conference.
Texas – the deadliest state in the nation for drunk driving – passed an ignition interlock law for all drunk drivers who seek driving privileges after an arrest. This brought the total number of states with all-offender ignition interlock laws to 25. Kentucky made significant strides by passing a law requiring ignition interlocks for all repeat offenders, refusals, cases of child endangerment and first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or greater. Illinois enacted legislation improving its all-offender ignition interlock law.
In 2006, MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Since then, public support for the campaign initiatives has been overwhelming. MADD focuses on three important steps to end drunk driving: Support our heroes. Support high-visibility law enforcement to catch drunk drivers and discourage others from driving drunk. Sober to start. Require ignition interlock devices, or in-car breathalyzers, for all drunk drivers, to prove they are sober before their car will start. Secure the future. Support the development of technology to determine automatically whether or not the driver is above the legal limit of .08 and failing to operate if the driver is drunk.
MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church presents a Legislative Champion award to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White for his work on the state’s ignition interlock program.
Arkansas, Missouri and South Carolina strengthened their ignition interlock laws, while Colorado and Tennessee passed felony laws for drunk driving offenses. Drunk driving is now a felony on the fourth offense in Colorado. Tennessee established a Class C Felony offense of aggravated vehicular assault and established mandatory minimums for portion of sentences that are served.
victim to volunteer
On Capitol Hill, MADD continued to support DADSS and grow support for research and development of a passive, in-vehicle alcohol detection technology to stop drunk drivers from operating a vehicle. In June, 300 volunteers and staff at MADD’s 35 th Anniversary event witnessed a demonstration of the DADSS technology.
Arlene Victor found herself facing the unthinkable when a drunk driver killed her son Marty and his wife Chris on Easter Sunday in 1984. Kelley, her 16-month-old granddaughter, was hospitalized for a week after the crash – her arm had been broken in five places. Arlene and her husband Cletus were named Kelley’s legal guardians, and made providing for her their priority.
DADSS technology was unveiled at MADD’s 35th Anniversary event in June.
It wasn’t long before Arlene met others impacted by this senseless crime. Together, they decided that something had to be done to ensure their children’s deaths were not in vain. So, in 1985 they applied and were granted a charter, creating the Dubuque-Jackson County MADD Chapter in Iowa. Since becoming a MADD volunteer, Arlene has spoken to tens of thousands of young people in area schools and colleges, hosted bi-monthly Victim Impact Panels, raised money to provide local law enforcement with video and breathalyzer equipment, launched public awareness campaigns, provided victim advocacy for those impacted by drunk or drugged driving, and ensured that MADD maintained a presence in Iowa every day for the last 30 years. MADD cannot begin to say thank you enough to Arlene for her tireless dedication and efforts to save lives in Iowa. But she doesn’t do it for praise or thanks. She does it to save lives. And undoubtedly, she has done just that.
MADD’s unwavering support continued for law enforcement efforts to conduct and promote sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols in communities across the nation. MADD teamed up with the NHTSA for the launch of the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaigns in Washington DC and San Francisco. MADD believes that by following the strategic blueprint laid out by the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving – high-visibility law enforcement, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology – we will reach our ultimate goal: No More Victims.
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