RATING THE STATES
Driving drunk with a child passenger is a form of child abuse that should be met with additional penalties. MADD recognizes New York’s Leandra’s Law as the nation’s model child endangerment law.
MADD awards a half star to states that impose misdemeanor charges for driving drunk with a child passenger. To receive a full star, states must treat this crime as a felony. • 47 states and the District of Columbia have additional penalties for driving drunk with a child passenger • Only 7 states treat this crime as a felony
About 20 percent of suspected drunk drivers refuse a sobriety test, which leads to additional time and paperwork for law enforcement officers. This impedes efforts to remove drunk drivers and protect the public. Driving is a privilege, not a right and because of this, refusals should be treated the same as a failed sobriety test. Expedited warrants are needed for law enforcement to collect evidence to help prosecute drunk drivers.
MADD awards a half star to states that expedite warrants for alcohol tests after a refusal. Another half star is awarded to states that require an ignition interlock for refusing an alcohol test. • 34 states allow law enforcement the ability to expedite the warrant process for suspected drunk drivers who refuse • 33 states require an ignition interlock or criminalize refusals, eliminating the incentive for a suspected drunk driver to refuse a test
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