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MADD Testifies in Favor of Requiring Interlocks for All Drunk Driving Offenders in D.C.
By MADD | May 23, 2012| 15 Comments | Filed in: Drunk Driving

Today, J.T. Griffin, MADD’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy, is testifying before the Environment, Public Works and Transportation Committee in Washington, D.C. in support of ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders.   Currently, ignition interlocks are discretionary for repeat offenders in the district.  MADD is urging the committee to advance the Ignition Interlock Amendment Act of 2012, and in doing so, make sure these devices are required all convicted drunk drivers for at least six months.
We know it is not enough to simply revoke the license of a convicted drunk driver.  Studies show that 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive even while their license is suspended. This is the reason why interlocks are so critical to protecting the public.  Convicted drunk drivers who have an interlock can keep their job, keep going to school, and at the same time, keep the public safe.

The Ignition Interlock Amendment Act of 2012 can save lives and hopefully bring the number of drunk driving deaths in Washington, D.C. to zero.  Similar laws in Arizona and Oregon have helped decrease drunk driving fatalities by 51 and 52 percent, respectively.  In Louisiana, drunk driving deaths are down by 40 percent. In New Mexico, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 30 percent. 

MADD’s support of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers is simple—it is about saving lives and stopping drunk driving. 

Learn more about the hearing or watch it live starting at 1:00 p.m. EST on May 23, 2012.   



Submitted by Karma at 04:09 PM on July 2, 2013
I agree that MADD has too much power and has gone too far. The society I grew up in allowed one to learn from their mistakes. They were not given life sentences. I have a friend's son (21 at the time)who is in college, who has good grades, has worked at the same job to put himself thru school, helps in the community and is overall a very good person. He made the mistake of driving home after a celebration. He was stopped (in front of his friends house) because he failed to put use his blinker while turning. After admitting, yes, he had been out drinking, he was given a breathalizer and it was over the legal limit. A year later, after spending the night in jail, getting a lawyer he cannot afford, having his license suspended and having to get rides to school and work, having a device put in his car, when he did get his license back, at a significant cost, he is just now going to court. A guilty plea will result in a year's probabation, continued use of the device for a year, couseling, court costs and several other conditions and lots of $$. He's now 22, a senior, and severely depressed. He fears that with a DWI on his record he will not be able to get a job in his chosen field. It will be a mark against him. Who can blame him? My question is why is he painted with the same broad stroke that repeat offenders are? Seems like in MADD's zeal to curb drunk driving, they are willing to ruin lives themselves. Good causes are important, however, prudent and reasonable people need to be in charge.
Submitted by L at 11:28 AM on October 9, 2012
I agree with disbelief and distraught. I was recently convicted of DUI , I am 46 years old and never had trouble with the law in my life. I had a successful 25 year accounting career and MBA and was basically a law abiding citizen. I made a big error in judgement and it has come close to destroying my life. The ignition interlock sounds great but in reality is is difficult to use. I was unable to produce enough air on many occassions to get a positive in it so I could start my vehicle. I was unable to drive my vehicle for the time I had it on. I ended up losing my accounting manager position over this. Now I may never find a job due to this criminal conviction on my record. The law for a first time offender that did not hurt anyone is too extreme and there does not seem to be any room for a second chance. If this is what MADD is shooting for then they got it. MADD seems to be seeking some vengeance by punishing all who have a drink and drive. It is the repeat offenders that usually kill people not the first time offender. Cut them a little slack everyone makes a mistake. Oh well since I dont have anything else to do with my life I can spend it commenting on MADD'S website.
Submitted by Judy at 08:04 PM on August 25, 2012
It is quite a shame that MADD is abusing its power to such an extent, that they do not realize or care that they are destroying lives not saving them.
Submitted by Dragon at 09:31 AM on July 30, 2012
Why not get rid of drugs too? it would also reduce dangers to people when they are driving.
Submitted by Dragon at 08:02 PM on July 29, 2012
Why not get rid of alcohol over all?
Submitted by Dragon at 07:59 PM on July 29, 2012
Why doesn't the world get rid of alcohol,cigars,and cigarettes forever? It would be much safer to drive on the road with out having to worry about crazy drivers.No more horrible smells of cigars or cigarettes.You wouldn't be losing a loved one etc. the world would be much better.
Submitted by Dragon at 07:52 PM on July 29, 2012
Why doesn't the world get rid alcohol,cigars,and cigarettes forever there would be less deaths less losing loved ones blah blah blah.
Submitted by FED UP at 10:41 AM on June 19, 2012
After going through this situation with a family friend, I am angered and frustrated by orgnaizations like MADD that keep lobbying the government to take away our freedoms. Any accidental or unexpected loss of life is tragic. Under these circumstances, the only way to stop drunk driving is to make alcohol illegal. We all saw what happened with prohibition, and how much money the government gets from alcohol sales & lobbies,so this will never happen. Instead, laws are now made to put a scarlet letter on ALL those who have had a DUI without examining the circumstances. Having a couple of drinks in a period of 3-4 hours does not an alcoholic make...I know as I had one in my family. Yet the laws consider ANYONE who had a drink and got behind the wheel an alcoholic. If you refuse the breathalyzer it's an automatic one year suspension because you are guilty by omission!! My friend was in a 1 car accident because another car cut her off. Because she had had a couple of drinks and refused to blow the consequences are astounding. What happended to the guy that cut her off and caused the accident? Nothing because he got away! But now she is suspended for 1 year, has to pay a hefty fine, has to wear a bracelet for 10 mos., will be sentenced to a program or "jail time", must be assesssed, must attend AA meetings and, oh yes, gets to put a party plate on her car. Why not just put an A on her forehead? We don't know who the real criminals are in our society, but we sure know who got behind the wheel after a drink or two! When all is said and done the monetary costs will be close to $10,000. The bracelet is $175 to be put on and because she was "out of county" was charged $13/day for 10 mos??? Fortunately that was reduced to $1/day (only $690 instead of $3900). The bracelet assumes you can't get through life without alcohol. It has to be downloaded 2x/week to prove you haven't been drinking. All this for a person who maybe went out with friends once a month - not a habitual or binge drinker. What right does anyone have to say you can't have a legal substance in your private life? If you are already suspended and can't drive, what's the point of the bracelet? If you say because statistics show half of suspended DUI drivers still drive, how can you lump everyone into the same category? Let the habitual offenders wear the bracelet. Does the court look at your habits when sentencing you? Life is not all black and white like the law. Then the cost of the assessment - one place told her $1500, just to ask questions to see if she is an alcoholic. The bracelet interferes with her job, but that's just too bad according to the laws. She is lucky she still has a job after having to find daily rides to work with an irregular shift schedule. After 90 days she can ask for driving privileges to work. They might take off the bracelet in exchange for the interlock device at her expense. Oh, and don't dare stop at the grocery store on the way home from work because you are out of food. If stopped you could lose your work priveleges. I understand paying a sentence for an offense, but this is just overkill! It seems the real offenders are the ones who get off. Either they party to inebriation, drive all the time and don't get caught. Or like someone else I know got who the 2nd DUI within a few weeks AND while driving under suspension only has a 90 day suspension and has to attend AA meetings. Where is the equity in this?? Put an interlock in all cars? Don't be ridiculous! Let's give all MADD members a taste of their own medicine and put them in a bracelet for a year and an interlock on their cars and see how they fare!
Submitted by Distraught at 07:33 PM on June 9, 2012
I agree with so much of what Disbelief has said. Many people who comment on people who have received a DUI call them drunks. They are painting everyone with the same brush. Some people just make the wrong decision and are persecuted for it. They are not all alcoholics. They do not all drive after drinking on a regular basis. I didn't say "drive drunk" because now you don't need to be drunk to be charged. It used to be called impaired driving because the belief was when you drink alcohol it impairs your judgment, reaction time, vision, and motor skills which could result in an accident. Not the case anymore after the minority groups have hammered the government to overly punish everyone who has more than a couple of beers to drink and then drives. I understand it is all to save lives but the punishment is not befitting the crime. If it were any other crime the person would get a trial, a chance to explain their case, and then the punishment would be tailored to the person and their crime. First offence usually getting probation or a fine. Not if you drink and drive, you are automatically sentenced with an overly extreme punishment. A person makes the wrong decision and drives after drinking. That person gets pulled over and receives a 24hr suspension and an administrative driving prohibition. They aren't charged. Now the person cannot drive for 90 days. A somewhat befitting punishment. If the the person is lucky they can walk or cycle or use public transportation to go to and from work. But what happens if they can't or if they need to drive for work? Now they lose their job. Next they are told to attend a Responsible Driver Program that costs just under $1000. Where does that money come from? They lost their job and can't drive to find a new one. They can't get their license back until they attend the program. A vicious circle. Then they need to install an ignition iterlock system into ANY vehicle they drive. A device that costs around $500 to install and $150 per month for twelve months. That's over $2000 they need to pay while they don't have a job. So now they lose their house or apartment. What if they are married? All because they made a mistake. It would be understandable if someone was a repeat offender. If they were given an ADP and didn't learn a lesson a harsher punishment would be in order. To charge and sentence everyone by the "what if" law is wrong. The "what if" law is the argument everyone uses when rationalizing the punishments the government is handing out. "Well what if you had killed someone" "What if you had driven off the road" What if... The possible loss of everything a person has worked for is not an acceptible consequence to "what if". I personally face this dilemma. I may lose everthing if I am forced to have a device installed in vehicles that I drive. I need to drive for work and the organization I work for will not allow to have an interlock system installed in one of their vehicles. I am not a drunk. I am not an alcoholic. I just had more than the legal limit of alcohol in my blood after celebrating my 42nd birthday with some friends and then drove. I made a poor decision and now I may lose everything. Does this sound fair? Does this sound acceptible? If you say yes, next time you make a mistake or make a poor decision I hope the sky falls on you because that how it feels to me.
Submitted by Agree at 02:53 PM on June 3, 2012
Kudos to Disbelief.
Submitted by The Truth at 07:03 AM on June 3, 2012
I think this is a great idea. This helps people who "made and mistake" keep thier jobs, while still holding them accountable. It is obvious that DISBELIEF is a former DUI. I have no idea where you get that cops have quotas and bonuses for DUI's. I challange you to prove the statements you have made. Stating that its the cop's fault you got a DUI is juvenile at best. If you are not responsible enough to admit YOUR drinking got YOU the DUI then you should not be drinking at all. DUI is not a tiny mistake. It is a preventable wrong that should never happen. By the way, drinking is not listed in the constitution. There are no "Right to Bear Beer" or "Free to be Drunks" amendments. I support this action 100%. Bring on the interlock devices.
Submitted by DISBELIEF at 10:09 AM on June 2, 2012
Here is another example of DUI's going too far. Take a look and open your mind.
Submitted by DISBELIEF at 10:05 AM on June 2, 2012
Let me ask you this question WHY???... Should people be penalized and arrested for smoking because 2nd hand smoking MIGHT happen? 2nd hand smoking kills, so why don't we arrest anyone smoking more than two cigarettes a day for exposing other to potential death. What MADD stands for is ridiculous. Yes some drunk drivers get away but have they hit anyone? What was the circumstances? Did they really put anyone in danger? Did they KILL anyone? Like I said before WHY???, maybe these people got away with it because the first and second time they harmed no one and the police report saying that, "They smelled like alcohol and their eyes were bloodshot at 4 AM" wasn't good enough. DUI's are one of the only draconian rules where they punish you for the possibility. And cops also find really ridiculous reasons to try to get people to fill their wallets and quota's too. I hope you get pulled over for the possibility... and maybe you're not even drunk and are on medication! You will then realize the full extent of how ridiculous these laws are.
Submitted by Disbelief at 12:17 AM on June 1, 2012
Dear MAD... dropping the last D, You have gone one too far to increase the amount of money in your wallets and pushing your beliefs and your selfish reasons onto others is not very admirable. Renting an interlock can easily cost thousands of dollars in the long run and there are many instances where your laws actually hurt law abiding citizens that got unlucky because a cop decided to pull them over for pretty much any offense. It's also ridiculous how the cops take advantage of your demands for breathalyzer and are still convicting people under the limit for being drunk drivers and treating everyone like criminals. Did you know that even after you sober up and had only two drinks that the test will read a little past the legal limit? How is that fair when we made sure to sleep a bit, take some water, and drive home when we know we can that we get convicted for trying to be responsible? Not only that but the only reason drunk driving will go down is because now-a-days cops have quota's and basically jump at the chance to pull anyone over, even if they had less than a cup of beer because they get bonuses and days off. Although the rich are fine with these fines and regulations that keep decent citizens from going to work because the probation doesn't let them drive... many of us decent citizens are making ends meet during the recession and all of these draconian laws can basically break down the ones not doing so well, have us lose our jobs because we can't drive, and basically doesn't help us pay our bills and taxes. We just can't afford to. One tiny mistake... even if you barely drink costs everyone dearly. Might as well break a constitution and make it so no one can drink. Also if we lose our jobs despite being good citizens in all other ways than the one mistake we made... there is no point in being a good citizen. Living off of unemployment checks is no way to live and the DUI is the only crime that charges you for a crime THAT DID NOT HAPPEN YET. Please find a better way to actually crack down on the actual drunkards who are hazards to society instead of making money off of those who are actually a contribution to society. Saving lives by destroying others is not the right solution... and stop making money off of people who died from drunk driving. It is horrible what you do and your organization completely forgot what they are standing for.
Submitted by why???? at 08:33 PM on May 30, 2012
Why do drunk drivers keep getting a with it in mansfield ohio? Why do the judges keep moving their court dates? Why do two time offereds get away with it in mansfield ohio?(with less than 6 months apart) we need to put the heat on these judges and ask why??????

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