-- With recent traffic deaths increase, MADD's plan to eliminate drunk driving more important than ever --
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is responding to recent news that highway fatalities have increased an estimated 9 percent in the first half of 2012, with a call to action. "It's time for the nation to double-down and fully implement the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "MADD has a plan to eliminate drunk driving once and for all and states must do their part by passing all-offender ignition interlock laws."
MADD began calling on states to require all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock as part of its Campaign launch in 2006. Since then, 16 states have passed legislation requiring all drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device. The results have been overwhelmingly positive, with states like Arizona and Oregon reducing drunk driving deaths by over 50 percent. In addition, the number of ignition interlocks in the nation has more than doubled from 101,000 in 2006 to 279,000 this year.
Drunk driving continues to represent roughly a third of all highway deaths. "If all states enacted and enforced effective interlock laws, the nation would reverse this alarming trend in highway deaths," said Withers. "There is no longer a debate on interlock effectiveness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 15 other peer-reviewed studies, have confirmed that interlocks reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by two-thirds."
Last July, Congress fully endorsed MADD's Campaign by including a new $20 million ignition interlock incentive grant program as part of the latest surface transportation legislation known as MAP-21. Now, states that pass legislation requiring all convicted drunk drivers to get an interlock are eligible for special funding to help them effectively implement their interlock programs.
MADD's model interlock law calls for drunk drivers, not taxpayers, to pay for the interlock device. With the addition of the incentive grant program, ignition interlock programs cost the states nothing. "There are no more excuses for states. It's time to get in line with MADD's Campaign and pass all-offender interlock laws," said Withers. "Failure to do so means lives will be lost and the nation will continue to see rising highway fatalities.
For more information about MADD's Campaign, visit www.madd.org/campaign.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America's roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving