We are encouraged to see that the Kansas Department of Transportation recently released preliminary data showing a dramatic drop in drunk driving deaths over the past year. In the year since a law went into effect on July 1, 2011, requiring all drunk driving offenders in Kansas to use an ignition interlock on their vehicles, the state is reporting 59 alcohol-related traffic fatalities—compared with 125 and 137, respectively, for the previous two years during the same timeframe.
Ignition interlocks, or in-car breathalyzers, require drunk drivers to prove they are sober before the car will start. Throughout the U.S., 17 states (plus a pilot program in California) have laws requiring the use of this technology for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders.
MADD would like to commend Kansas lawmakers, especially Senator Tim Owens, Representative Kay Wolf and Representative Pat Colloton, for their efforts to save lives and prevent injuries on the state’s roadways.