DEDICATION LOVE HARMONEE MADD®dedicatesthisreport toLove, Laverneand to all the victims of the 100 percent preventable crimes of drunk and drug-impaired driving.
Love Harmonee Georgia Ingram, 10 years old
On June 22, 2018, in Fayetteville NC, 10-year-old Love Harmonee Georgia Ingram and her mother, Laverne were on the way home after saying goodbye to their best friends who were moving to Arizona. “It was about 9 o’clock at night. We were on the way home and we were the third car in line at the light. As we started going through the green light, all I heard was the explosion and I was knocked out,” said Laverne. Laverne woke up shortly after, but her beautiful, innocent daughter, Love did not. Police later said the offender was drunk and had just left a local sports bar when he sped through the red light at the intersection crashing into Laverne and her daughter. They were less than 2 miles from home. As Laverne’s only child, everything she does, she does for Love. Their relationship has always been uniquely special; just them against the world. For anyone who met Love they quickly saw a kind, sweet, funny, intelligent, gorgeous, talented, and caring young lady who was excited about life and always making others smile. She put others before herself and she motivated everyone. She loved to sing, dance, and play sports. She was an A student who loved to participate in school and church related activities. Her soul and her heart were special, and she always kept a smile on her beautiful face. On June 22, 2018, one man and one decision took all that away from her. In an instant, one person stole Love’s life and Laverne’s will to live. Love will never have a chance to go to prom, have a boyfriend, experience her first kiss, graduate, go to college, and all the other milestones that come with growing up. He snatched
that away from her. Laverne suffers incomprehensible grief and struggles every single day to find reasons to keep going. But she continues to turn her pain into purpose, seek justice, and honor her baby girl by raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving in her local community and volunteering with MADD North Carolina. On March 11, 2020, Laverne bravely faced her baby’s murderer in court and gave a powerful and emotional victim impact statement. He was convicted of second- degree murder with a minimum of 13 and a half years. “Her name is Love Harmonee Georgia Ingram,” said Laverne Baxter, “I don’t ever use the word ‘was’ because she’ll never be a ‘was’ in my life.”
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY DRUNK OR DRUG- IMPAIRED DRIVING, MADD IS HERE TO HELP. CALL OUR VICTIM/ SURVIVOR 24-HOUR HELPLINE AT 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).
MADD’s Court Monitoring Program enlists court monitors to observe and document what happens in the courtroom during impaired driving case proceedings. The program was created to ensure that impaired driving offenders are prosecuted and justice is achieved. Court monitoring is a tool proven to affect the adjudication process and is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as an effective countermeasure to reduce impaired driving 1 . Court monitors on the local scale can impact the
handling of impaired driving cases by their mere presence in the court room. Court monitoring is intended to enhance transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses. One way this goal is achieved is by sharing data and observations with law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and the public to promote awareness of impaired driving and ensure accountability for all impaired driving offenders. To reduce future offenses, MADD® supports swift and unbiased treatment of all impaired driving cases.
of January 2021, those states include: WHEREWE ARE • Arizona • Colorado • Connecticut • Georgia • Illinois • Louisiana • Maryland • Missouri • Nebraska • Nevada
Currently, MADD’s Court Monitoring Program is active in some jurisdictions within 15 states. As
• New Mexico • North Carolina • South Carolina • Tennessee • Virginia
In 2020, a team comprised of more than 160 court monitors observed roughly 33,000 impaired driving cases. These 33,000 cases represented more than 17 states and roughly 170 U.S. counties, for an average 200 cases per MADD court monitor. The charts represented in this report reflect general observations from 2020 MADD Court Monitoring Program data in 17 states (Arkansas and Texas no longer have active court monitoring programs, but monitored cases in the 2020).
This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the jurisdictions monitored and is not intended to be a statistical analysis. National Report (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2020)
To learn more about each state MADD monitors, visit madd.org/courts
Key Findings & Observations
The Court Monitoring Program is part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® , started in 2006, to support law enforcement efforts to protect the public from drunk driving. Observing courtroom proceedings is a longstanding traditionofMADD. InDecember 2018, MADDreached 100,000casesmonitoredaspart of theNational CourtMonitoring Program that began in 2015. Many people who have lost a loved one to drunk and drugged driving experience the justice system for the first time, and they are often surprised at how their cases are handled. That’s what drove the creation of MADD over 40 years ago and what drives the Court Monitoring Program today. Impaired driving is still the #1 killer on our nation’s roadways. In 2019 alone, 10,142 lives were lost due to alcohol related impaired driving, which was 28% of all traffic related deaths on U.S. roadways. 2 Based on a reviewof themonitored cases across the United States in 2020, MADDobserved that 63%of drunk driving charges resulted in a guilty conviction. In addition, 18% of the adjudicated cases were dismissed. The conviction rate is slightly higher than in 2019, when MADD’s court monitors noted an average 59% conviction rate with an additional 20% of cases ending with a verdict of either deferred prosecution, amended charge or plea deal. Almost one thirdof impaireddrivingoffenderswerewithin the21-29-year age rangewithmaledefendants representing 73%of impaired driving cases monitored. Lastly, roughly 23%of those arrested on an impaired driving charge had been convicted of at least one previous offense and of cases monitored, 61% of defendants had a BAC of .15 or higher. The accompanying tables featuredwithin this report contain information that elaborate on the key observations above and align with MADD’s mission and key program goals.
Impaired Driving Average Case Disposition
Disposition Sealed / Unable To Determine Disposition Not Guilty Guilty / No Contest Deferred Prosecution Dismissed / Nolle Prosequi / Failure To Prosecute Amended / Plea Deal Bound Over To Circuit Court
Based on cases monitored in 2020, 63% of cases adjudicated were guilty. Of cases monitored, 18% of adjudicated cases were dismissed. Dismissals can occur for many reasons; such as lack of discovery, an officer failing to appear in court or at a hearing, or completion of a deferred program. Deferred prosecution includes a version of informal probation; and upon certain completion of terms, the charge may be expunged from the defendant’s record. MADD monitors dismissals closely and reports findings to local judicial members to address any concerns. MADD aims to promote accountability and believes a guilty charge, rather than an amended charge or deferred prosecution, is the best course of action for the dangerous crime of impaired driving.
Impaired Driving Average Defendant Gender & Age*
Average Defendant Age
Average Defendant Gender
40-49 50-59 60-69 70 or Older
*Age and Gender data based on cases where appropriate information could be collected.
Of the cases monitored in 2020, MADD observed that the majority of impaired driving cases involved male defendants (73%) of which 32% were between the ages of 21 and 29; followed by ages 30-39 (28%). Based on cases monitored, this information indicates that the male population between the ages of 21-39 is consistently responsible for impaired driving (32% of cases overall when compared to both gender and age). Additionally, 5% of the cases observed involved individuals under the age of 21. As part of our lifesavingmission, MADD knows that by preventing underage drinking today, we can end drunk driving tomorrow. Research shows that kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash. 3 In addition, studies have show that teens who do NOT drink alcohol until they are 21 are 85% less likely to become a drunk driver later in life than those who drink before age 14. 4 This is why our hopes for a safer future are riding on tomorrow’s drivers. By getting today’s youth off to a good start, we are taking a giant step toward fulfilling our vision of a nation without drunk driving. To learn more about MADD’s underage drinking prevention programs visit https://www.madd.org/the-solution/teen-drinking-prevention .
Covid-19’s Impact On Impaired Driving & The MADD Court Monitoring Program
While vehicle miles traveled decreased by 5% during the first quarter of 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic, the projected traffic fatality rate only decreased by 1% during the same timeframe 5 . Despite there being fewer drivers, this did not stop fatality crashes, especially those related to drug and alcohol consumption. In addition, a recent study by the Office of Behavioral Safety Research revealed 65% of those involved in a serious or fatal crash tested positive for at least one active drug (alcohol, cannabis or opioids). This percentage represents an increase in both opioid and cannabis use compared to data 6 months prior to the pandemic 6 . There is no doubt that drugged driving —meaning drugs other than alcohol — is a serious problem. For more information on MADD’s efforts to prevent drug-impaired driving and its release of the 2020 MADD Cannabis Report: America’s Perception On Consumption and Road Risk, visit madd.org/the-solution/drugged-driving-prevention. In addition, the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions within the criminal justice systems around the nation and posed numerous challenges to everyday business operations. MADD court monitors remained diligent and complied with any state, county, and court-specific restrictions and guidelines. Upon review of 2020 case data, MADD saw that arrests remained constant for impaired driving offenses, even during lockdown, while many court hearings were delayed due to ongoing local closures of courts. This inevitably will lead to a certain backlog of cases, and we fear, may potentially result in a reduction of guilty verdicts. It is imperative that MADD continues to monitor cases around the nation to review any trends that were a direct result of how the pandemic interfered with DWI/DUI case filings, arrests, and prosecution. It should be noted that this impact will inevitably be felt for all types of criminal offenses, not solely impaired driving.
Impaired Driving Previous Offenses and BAC Levels
Average Defendant Charge
Average Defendant BAC
.26 or Higher
1st Offense 2nd Offense
4 or More Offenses
Based on cases monitored in 2020, roughly 23% of those arrested on an impaired driving charge had been convicted of a previous offense. MADD supports the usage of ignition interlock devices on all convicted drunk drivers. Studies have shown that interlocks reduce recidivism 7 . Of 1 million individuals arrested each year for impaired driving, roughly 230,000 of those arrests are repeat offenders. Ignition Interlocks not only prevent future offenses, but save lives by requiring a clean breath sample before allowing a car to start. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) refers to the percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood stream. In most US states, a person is legally intoxicated if they have a BAC of .08 or higher (a few states have a legal intoxication law of .05). Drivers with a BAC of .08 are approximately 4 times more likely to crash than drivers with a BAC of zero; while those at .15 are 12 times more likely to crash 8 . In review of the 2018 fatality crash data, the most recent data at publication of this report, 67% of crashes involved at least one driver with a BAC of .15 or higher 9 . Based on cases monitored in 2020, 61% of defendants had a BAC of .15 or higher.
A Special Thank You
MADD would like to thank our amazing court monitoring volunteers. Throughout 2020, these volunteer court monitors spenthundredsofhours incourt (physicallyandvirtually), reviewingcasedataandeducatingthepublic. Theirparticipation, commitment to their community and passion tomake a difference are why they play a vital role in helping to achieve our mission. WewouldalsoliketoacknowledgeProsecutors, JudgesandlikemindedAdvocatesfor theircompassionandcommitment to victims of impaired driving. Your dedication to pursue the fullest prosecution of each case will prevent future offenses and save lives. MADDmust also provide a resounding thank you to law enforcement. Each time law enforcement removes an impaired driver from the road, countless lives are saved. Thank you for your dedication, bravery and hardwork to keep our nation’s roadways safe through the enforcement and prevention of underage drinking and impaired driving. Lastly, we would like to express our gratitude to our legislative advocates and champions from across the nation. We appreciate your unwavering commitment to pass lifesaving legislation on the state and federal levels. Truly your work has helped to prevent countless tragedies. To learnmore about MADD’s current legislative priorities visit madd.org/HALTAct .
The information presented in this report demonstrates whymore volunteers are urgently needed to support and expand MADD’s mission and awareness of impaired driving. It is our hope that these efforts will further our mission to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, serve the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking in order to create a world of No More Victims®.
Here’s How You Can Help:
Make a commitment to never drink, or use drugs and get behind the wheel. Choose to never provide alcohol to those under the age of 21. Have ongoing conversations with your children about the dangers of underage drinking and other drugs and the dangers of getting into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking or consuming drugs. When you see an impaired driver, always call 9-1-1. Donate your time, talent or treasure to help create a world of NO MORE VICTIMS®.
Click here to learn more about volunteering!
Click here to donate to MADD’s lifesaving mission!
Citations / References 1 Richard, C. M., Magee, K., Bacon-Abdelmoteleb, P., & Brown, J. L. (2018, April). Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Ninth edition (Report No. DOT HS 812 478). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2 National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2020, December). Overview of motor vehicle crashes in 2019. (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report No. DOT HS 813 060). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 3 Hingson, Ralph, et al. “Age of Drinking Onset, Driving After Drinking, and Involvement in Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes.” DOT HS 809 188. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, January 2001. 4 Grant, B.F., and Dawson, D.A. Age at onset of drug use and its association with DSM–IV drug abuse and dependence: Results from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey. Journal of Substance Abuse 10:163–173, 1998 5 National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2020, June). Early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2020. (Crash Stats Brief Statistical Summary. Report No. DOT HS 812 966). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 6 Office of Behavioral Safety Research. (2021, January). Update to special reports on traffic safety During the COVID-19 public health emergency: Third quarter data. (Report No. DOT HS 813 069). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 7 Mothers Against Drunk Driving®. (2013, July). Ignition interlock institutes: Promoting the use of interlocks and improvements to interlock programs. (Report No. DOT HS 811 815). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 8 NHTSA. (2012, April). Traffic Safety Facts, 2010 Data: Alcohol Impaired Driving. (Report No. DOT HS 811 606). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Available at www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811606.pdf. 9. National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2019, December). Alcohol impaired driving: 2018 data (Traffic Safety Facts. Report No. DOT HS 812 864). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime, yet continues to happen across the United States. Each year, about 1 million individuals are arrested. What happens after those arrests depends on the criminal justice system. As a MADD court monitor, you can get the insider’s perspective on the judicial system while making a vital contribution to your local community. Your presence in court and the data you collect will help make sure our laws are upheld and the criminal justice system does what it is intended to do: Keep us safe. Court monitors achieve the work of MADD’s Court Monitoring Program by doing the following:
Remind law enforcement that MADD wants to see their cases prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law
Track conviction rates and sanctions
Identify trends in offender age, gender, and blood alcohol concentration level
Notify judicial system of deficiencies
Create public outcry when weaknesses go unaddressed
For more information about court monitoring efforts in your state, please visit madd.org/courts .Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
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