MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving ® is a blueprint for the nation to end drunk driving fatalities and keep the public safe on the roads. MADD monitors the progress using a five-star system to rate the states and encourage the adoption of proven countermeasures. It is important to note that stars are not weighted equally. While all countermeasures are important to improve a state’s drunk driving laws, we know that ignition interlocks and sobriety checkpoints are the two most effective ways to dramatically reduce fatalities and injuries. DEFINITION OF STARS 5 4 3 2 1
IGNITION INTERLOCKS are proven effective in saving lives and reducing drunk driving recidivism. More than 15 peer-reviewed studies recommend requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted offenders. AAA, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and all traffic safety organizations recommend that every state enact an all-offender ignition interlock law. As of 2014, 24 states have enacted laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater. These laws typically require first-time offenders to install an interlock for six months and longer periods for repeat offenders, before an offender is able to regain unrestricted driving privileges. SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS are the primary way for law enforcement to protect the public from drunk drivers. Sobriety checkpoints are proven to reduce drunk driving fatalities by 20 percent by providing a general deterrent to driving drunk. High-visibility enforcement campaigns such as the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have been proven effective in the fight to eliminate drunk driving. Sobriety checkpoints are also cost-effective and reduce drunk driving expenses by at least six dollars for every dollar invested. Sobriety checkpoints are legal in 38 states and the District of Columbia. LICENSE REVOCATION Administrative License Revocation (ALR) is swift punishment for drunk driving through the immediate confiscation of an offender’s driver’s license by the arresting officer. NHTSA reports that ALR reduces DUI fatalities by as much as nine
percent. Before MADD launched the Campaign, most offenders going through the ALR process were able obtain a geographic or time restricted license. However, an emerging trend to improve the success of ALR is to require installation of an interlock as a condition of obtaining a restricted license following a drunk driving arrest. In order for ALR laws to be effective, any license granted to an arrested drunk driver prior to conviction should be contingent upon installing an interlock as opposed to an unenforceable time or geographic restricted license. CHILD ENDANGERMENT Drunk driving with a child passenger is a form of child abuse. No child should ever be put in that type of danger. Today, 46 states and the District of Columbia have enacted child endangerment laws or statutes that allow for additional penalties for a drunk driving conviction with a child passenger in the vehicle. However these laws vary widely in severity and definition of a child passenger. MADD recognizes New York’s Leandra’s Law as the model child endangerment law in the nation. NO-REFUSAL EVENTS Driving is a privilege, not a right. Offenders who refuse to submit to chemical test (i.e. blood or breath) present a significant challenge to holding drunk drivers accountable. No-refusal activities have proven to be successful in reducing the number of offenders who refuse testing by allowing law enforcement to easily and quickly obtain a warrant to test the suspected offender. No-refusal stars have been given to states that have a program in place where prosecutors and judges make themselves available to streamline the warrant process helping to eliminate refusals.
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