MADD Pushes For Ignition Interlocks

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to announce new data on drunk driving fatalities in the United States.

According to MADD, the data shows the effectiveness of ignition interlock laws which mandate the devices be installed in vehicles belonging to drunk driving offenders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that interlocks have reduced repeat offenses by as much as 67 percent in some cases.

The new data, MADD indicates, reveals that two states with all-offender ignition interlock laws have had their rate of drunk driving fatalities cut by more than 50 percent.

Additionally, the most improved state in absolute terms was California, which instituted a pilot program implementing ignition interlocks and experienced more than 130 fewer drunk driving deaths on its roads.

"The decreases in drunk driving fatalities in these states mean that we are on the right track," said MADD national president Jan Withers. "It also means that fewer families must deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one to this 100 percent preventable crime."

MADD also urged lawmakers to pass legislation supporting the the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program, which is developing technology that would be integrated into individual vehicles and test a driver's blood alcohol level. Given that drunk driving remains the cause of about one-third of the nation's roadway fatalities, the use of such devices could substantially improve safety. If drunk driving accidents were stopped in their entirety, as Withers states, consumers would likely benefit from lower auto insurance rates as well.

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