Saturday, January 29, 2022

Ignition interlock laws protect the public and stop drunk driving

When Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) launched its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® in the fall of 2006, one state, New Mexico, had an all-offender ignition interlock law. Since then, 23 states have passed all-offender ignition interlock legislation. The Campaign continues to be the nation’s blueprint to eliminate drunk driving, and much of its success is due to passage of strong DUI laws in all 50 states.  Drunk driving deaths are down more than 24 percent since 2006 and, while much has been accomplished, much more must be done.

“As we continue to sound the drumbeat that high-visibility enforcement and ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers are the best ways to stop drunk driving, it is important to recognize that this issue continues to be a problem across the nation,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.

So far this year, MADD has successfully passed major legislation aimed at stopping drunk driving. By sharing the devastating stories of drunk driving deaths and injuries, MADD continues to put a face to this violent crime. During the past few months, MADD has worked closely with local DUI victims to educate, inform and speak about the importance of effective drunk driving laws in every state. Today, nearly half of the nation (24 states) has passed an all-offender ignition interlock law.

Already in 2014, four states have passed all-offender interlock legislation, eight states have improved legislation by closing loopholes, and four states are still working to pass bills.

In Florida, lawmakers expanded the existing interlock law, which was for first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater and repeat offenders.  HB 7005/SB 1272, prepared by the Transportation Committee, allows judges to order interlocks for first-time offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 in lieu of a 10-day vehicle impoundment.  The new law also requires a legislative study committee to study all-offender interlock legislation and issue a report to the legislature before the 2015 session.

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