IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION NOW.
It’s time to take action now. MADD urges every state to require ignition interlocks for anyone who seeks driving privileges after a drunk driving offense. For the 25 states that have these laws in place, there is always room to evaluate and improve laws to make sure every drunk driver installs an ignition interlock during a license suspension period. All-offender ignition interlock laws are endorsed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AAA and every other major traffic safety organization. Even segments of the alcohol industry have endorsed requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. This report will show how ignition interlocks are saving lives and will provide MADD’s recommendations for every state to pass effective, lifesaving ignition interlock laws.
THIS HAND-HELD DEVICE WILL STOP A DRIVER FROM STARTING HIS OR HER VEHICLE IF ALCOHOL IS DETECTED. MADD IS CONFIDENT THAT AN IGNITION INTERLOCK IS THE SAFEST, MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO STOP A DRUNK DRIVERFROMBECOMINGAREPEATOFFENDER. Drunk driving continues to be the leading killer on our nation’s roadways, despite a dramatic shift in social attitudes and tougher laws enacted since the founding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) more than 35 years ago. Today, the technology exists that can stop this completely preventable, violent crime. Ignition interlocks — cell phone-size devices installed in the vehicles of drunk driving offenders — take the decision to drive drunk out of the hands of the driver. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start. Across the nation, ignition interlocks have prevented 1.77 million attempts to drive drunk . This data, provided by 11 major ignition interlock companies, illustrates the dangerous rate at which drunk driving offenders continue to make the reckless decision to drink and drive, even after they have been caught. These alarming numbers reinforce MADD’s belief that every drunk driving offender should use an ignition interlock before regaining unrestricted driving privileges. No other option available today — be it DUI court, treatment programs, license suspension, monitoring devices or twice-daily alcohol testing or alcohol ankle bracelets — can physically block an offender from operating his or her vehicle after consuming alcohol. That’s why MADD believes every option for treatment and rehabilitation should include an ignition interlock requirement to allow the offender to safely travel without putting others or themselves at risk.
GET THE FACTS
• About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders • On average, a drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before a first arrest • 50-75 percent of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive even on a suspended license • Each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times , but fewer than 4,000 are arrested
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