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.