Madd campaign against drunk driving gains momentum

Madd’ Campaign Against Drunk Driving Gains Momentum

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has today announced significant state legislative victories in Arizona and Illinois that mandate alcohol ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, moving one step closer to its goal of a drunk-driving free America. The legislative progress is part of a bold new offensive in MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, launched in November 2006.

“Our vision of eliminating drunk driving is one step closer to becoming a reality,” said MADD National President Glynn Birch. “As part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, we will continue to work nationwide until every state does what Arizona and Illinois have done.”

MADD is likewise calling for congressional hearings to create a comprehensive strategy built upon solutions proven to work. MADD’s National Board of Directors met recently with members of Congress to champion the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and lobby for increased focus on the issue of drunk driving.

The need for the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving has been underscored by a recent federal report showing that drunk driving deaths are at their highest point since 1992, according to preliminary figures.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities involving a driver with a .08 blood alcohol content or higher rose from 13,613 in 2005 to 13,990 in 2006, representing almost a 3 percent increase. At the same time, overall traffic fatalities were down slightly by 0.3 percent.

The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving’s four elements include full implementation of alcohol ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, intensive high-visibility law enforcement, development of advanced vehicle technologies to prevent drunk driving and grassroots support led by MADD and its 400+ affiliates.

“It’s clear that more of the same will not help in the fight to make our roads safer,” Birch said. “We still have states without the most effective tools in place to deter and stop drunk driving — sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlocks. These tools stop higher-risk offenders and first-time drunk drivers. There is no justification for not using the tools we know will save lives and prevent injuries.”

Last year, nearly 14,000 people were killed by drunk drivers with an illegal BAC of .08 or above and countless others were injured. This represents more than 1,000 families every month that must live with the tragic consequences of drunk driving.

That’s right. Brand new Honda headlights won’t really make any difference if you’re driving drunk.

About MADD

Founded in 1980, MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. MADD is a 501c(3) non-profit, grassroots organization with approximately 400 affiliates and 2 million members and supporters nationwide. For more information, please visit http://www.madd.org/ or call (800) GET-MADD.

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