Last week, the Oklahoma Legislature voted overwhelmingly to make Oklahoma the 29th state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law. If Governor Fallin signs SB 643 into law, all drunk driving offenders will need to install an ignition interlock for at least six months in order to drive. He has until June 10th to sign the bill into law.
Oklahoma could soon join all of the surrounding states — Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Colorado and New Mexico — in passing laws that require or highly incentivize all drunk driving offenders to use an ignition interlock.
MADD believes in these devices because we know they save lives. No other technology available today can stop a car from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. Study after study has shown that ignition interlocks reduce drunk driving deaths — the most recent studies by the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University show reductions of 7 and 15 percent, respectively. That’s why we are working hard to pass these laws in every state.
Oklahoma’s law would require the use of interlocks for at least six months to regain driving privileges during a license revocation period. The legislation also creates the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP) to allow first-time offenders to attend treatment and other alcohol programs while using an ignition interlock to ensure public safety. Upon successful completion of the program, the offense would be sealed — a new incentive to get more people using an interlock (and the subject of an upcoming blog, so stay tuned).
When MADD launched our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® in 2006, we set out on an ambitious mission to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws in all 50 states. Back then, just one state — New Mexico — had such a law. In just a few weeks, with Governor Fallin’s signature, Oklahoma will bring us within 21 states of making our goal. That might sound like a lot, but we are already well past the half-way mark in just 10 years. One state at a time, we can achieve our goal of stopping repeat drunk driving offenses, and ultimately eliminating drunk driving once and for all.
Would you like to help advocate for an all-offender law in your state? Contact Frank Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.688.1194 to find out how.
MADD announced today the addition of a new Strategic Contributing Partner Pirelli®, whose support will help keep roadways and families safe. As part of the partnership, customers will receive a $60 VISA® prepaid card for every new set of Pirelli tires. Pirelli will donate $5 to MADD and give customers the opportunity to match the donation of $5 from May 26, 2017 through July 5, 2017.
“We are grateful to Pirelli for recognizing the critical need that drunk driving is still the leading threat on our roads and responding with support that will save lives,” said Colleen Sheehey-Church, MADD National President whose 18-year-old son Dustin was killed in an underage drunk and drugged driving crash.
In 2015, more than 10,000 people were killed and 290,000 people were injured in drunk driving crashes in the U.S.—that’s one death every 51 minutes and one injury every 2 minutes. Every day, an estimated 300,000 drunk drivers take to American roads.
In response, MADD focuses on awareness and advocacy by urging people to designate a non-drinking driver if their plans include alcohol, pushing for lifesaving legislation and providing free supportive services to victims of drunk driving. Since MADD’s founding in 1980, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 53 percent, 350,000 lives have been saved and nearly one million victims have been served.
“Pirelli is pleased to be supporting MADD and its efforts to promote safe driving with both American families and young drivers. Safety has always been very important to us in terms of developing new tires for our customers, which is why we have our ‘power is nothing without control’ motto. We hope we can help raise even more awareness for this worthy cause to drive making safe choices, as ultimately it will make roads safer and benefit everyone,” said Pierluigi Dinelli, CEO and Chairman Pirelli Tire North America.
Pirelli has been one of the world’s leaders in the tire industry for over 140 years, thanks to its ongoing commitment to research and development, which ensures it continues to provide innovative products for the road and track. Founded in Italy, Pirelli’s presence in North America continues to grow, with new tires designed specifically for North American driver needs and its first ever retail store P Zero World that launched in Los Angeles in 2016.
Kelli Willoughby's parents were hit by a drunk driver on Memorial Day 2003. Read her story and join her in remembering her mother this year:
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and although my mother was not in the armed forces, I honor and remember her, during this holiday.
On June 3, 2003, my parents were on their way to a friend’s house when they were hit head on by a drunk driver. My father was driving their SUV, my mother was in the passenger seat. The drunk driver, driving a semi, had passed out at the wheel and drifted into my parent’s lane on a curved bridge.
While my parents were out, I was babysitting my siblings. We had just ordered pizza and settled in for a movie, when I was called by the local Sheriff’s office. They asked me to come to the scene of the crash, and when I showed up it like the end of the world to me. All I could see were fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. They informed me that my parents were being airlifted to Tampa General Hospital.
At two in the morning, my mother was going into her last surgery of the night. She had severe open breaks on both legs and the doctors had a very difficult time stabilizing her enough to perform any kind of surgery on her. When they finally got to operate, a tiny piece of tissue lodged into one of her blood vessels and stopped her heart for six minutes. After about three weeks in the ICU, it was determined that she had no brain activity and according to her living will, we took her off life support. Even though this was an act that she clearly wanted, giving up the desperate hope that she would open her eyes again and speak to me was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. A little over a month from the date of the crash, my beautiful, smart, wonderful mother, Rhonda Davis, died on July 11, 2003.
My father, a member of the United State Army, suffered injuries that he continues to battle through to this day. His personal and professional life was shifted off course by someone else’s decisions.
I started this blog by referring to Memorial Day and its association with my mom. Every year when Memorial Day comes we see countless pictures of heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery, families laying wreaths at headstones, and faces of men and women who gave all to protect our country. My mom was not a Soldier who died in Afghanistan or a Marine who was killed in Iraq. However, she was my hero. She was the person who made me who I am, who taught me right from wrong, and who loved me unconditionally.
She was a dedicated military spouse who put her family above all else and who did her part to serve alongside my father. She faced frequent deployments, frequent moves, and held our family together just the same. Her final resting place is at Arlington National Cemetery, an honor she earned through her 23 years of being a military spouse. Even though she is not a service member, I am proud that my mother, my hero, is forever among the greatest heroes of our nation. On Memorial Day and every day, we should remember the brave souls who gave their life for our freedom, but I will also forever remember the bravest, strongest woman I have ever known.
On Friday, March 17, 2017, a DWI Checkpoint was conducted in cooperation with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department and the Springfield Police Department on MO 13 (Kansas Expressway) at Broadmoor Street in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. Missouri Department of Transportation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving were present during the checkpoint. During the checkpoint 780 vehicles were contacted which generated the following results:
Missouri Highway State Patrol:
5 – DWIs (1 of which was a DWI drugs)
1 – Safety belt
1 – No driver’s license
3 – DWR / DWS
1 – Misd. drugs
2 – Felony drugs (meth)
1 – Other felony arrest
34 – Warnings
12 – SFST
9 – PBTs
Greene County Sheriff’s Department:
2 – DWIs
2 –Warrants (Parole Absconder and Forgery)
1 -- Possession of Controlled Substance (9.5 grams of meth, 1 gram of heroin)
1 -- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
1 -- Possessed 35 Grams or Less of Marijuana
1 -- DWLR (Driving While License Revoked)– Felony
1 -- DWLR
1 -- MIP (Minor In Possession)
Springfield Police Department:
2 – DWIs
3 – DWR (Driving While Revoked) / DWS
The weather was clear and the temperature was mild. The number of motorists entering the checkpoint was as expected. A clear message was sent to the motoring public that there is a “zero tolerance” for driving while impaired and each officer should be commended for their efforts. MADD is grateful to law enforcement for dedicating their time, resources and lives to keeping our roads safe. Numbers like these show just how valuable their dedication is.
Decades ago, I raised my beautiful daughter, Kristy Staley.
Today, due to a selfish individual's choice to drive while drugged impaired, I am raising her children — Marissa, who doesn't remember the mother she lost at 18 months of age and Marcus, who was five when his mom dropped him off at daycare and never returned.
The day after the crash, a woman with Mothers Against Drunk Driving® walked into my life, handed me a coffee and said she was just going to "hang out a bit." Honestly, I don't know how far I could have gone without her — and that's why I am reaching out to you.
Every victim deserves an advocate like her, but, sadly, with more than 10,000 deaths a year and 290,000 injured victims, MADD simply doesn't have enough resources. Will you consider making a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving today to ensure victims like me get the support they need?
My advocate was there when I was constantly burning dinner because Marissa cried for hours on end if I didn't hold her. She sat next to me every single day in court while we heard how my Kristy struggled for 45 minutes without help, and she helped keep me focused on the children instead of the hole in my heart.
I cannot imagine what it would have been like to go through this unimaginable loss without her, and it breaks my heart that MADD doesn't have the resources to provide every single victim and survivor with such a caring and helpful advocate.
You can help victims by donating to MADD today. It may not be flashy or seem like much, but my advocate enabled me to survive. This is the gift your donation provides.
In memory of Kristy Staley,
Brenda Staley, a mother who misses her daughter and stands in on her behalf for Marissa and Marcus.P.S. The offender, who received 16 years in jail, is up for parole in August. I'll be there to speak up for Marcus and Marissa and for their mother. Help MADD be there for victims like me. Please consider donating today.