Today, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees reported out a bill that includes vital funding for the nation’s top drunk driving prevention programs in 2014.
The bill includes $29 million for high visibility law enforcement efforts and ensures that two drunk driving crackdowns will occur, as well as one mobilization on seat belt use. These successful campaigns are crucial to enforcing drunk driving laws and encouraging the public to buckle up.
They also fully funded research for the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS. This funding, over $5 million for the year, will continue the research and development of advanced vehicle technology, which holds the promise of one day saving more than 7,000 lives a year by making sure that cars can’t be driven drunk. You can learn more about DADSS here.
The committees also approved $20 million to encourage states to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws. Currently, 18 states require all drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock in order to regain driving privileges following a DUI conviction. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that these laws are effective in reducing drunk driving deaths, reducing future drunk driving offenses by two-thirds on average. You can learn more about interlocks here.
All told, these actions have once again given a green light to the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. We’d like to thank Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham, Ranking Member Ed Pastor, as well as Full Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and Ranking Member Nita Lowey in the House. In the Senate, MADD thanks Subcommittee Chairman Patty Murray, Ranking Member Susan Collins and Full Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby.
We’d also like to thank you for your tireless advocacy to help prevent drunk driving. Together, we are making a difference!
If you’d like to help make even more of a difference, please visit our legislative advocacy section so you can email your legislators about other lifesaving initiatives.