MADD Announces 2015 Legislators of the Year

We are excited to announce MADD’s “2015 Legislators of the Year” — 70 lawmakers across the country honored for their steadfast commitment to saving lives and advancing MADD’s ultimate goal — creating a nation of No More Victims.

In Congress, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey advocated for ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, one of MADD’s top legislative priorities as part of our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving launched in 2006. 

Mary Kate DePamphilis, Program Manager for MADD Massachusetts,
presenting a 2015 Legislator of the Year award to Senator James Timilty last week

Other legislative champions:

Senator Jimmy Hickey authored SB 81 and SB 877.  Representative Sue Scott Authored HB 877 and Representative Mary Hickerson authored SB 81.  Both of these measures were signed by the Governor improving the state’s all-offender ignition interlock law.

Senator Jerry Hill authored SB 61, which extends the end date of the four-county interlock pilot program until July 2017.  These counties include: Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare. 

MADD California presents Sen. Jerry Hill with a 2015 Legislator of the Year award on Tuesday.
From left: Program Manager Aaron Wade, Program Coordinator Domenica Cardenas, Bay Area Program Director Natasha Thomas, Senator Hill, California resident Mary Klotzbach, who is a member of the MADD National Board of Directors, and Tom Klotzbach. 

Representatives Beth McCann and Lori Saine, along with Senators John Cooke and Mike Johnston, authored legislation which makes a fourth DUI a felony.  Thanks to their efforts, Colorado is the 46th state to enact a DUI felony law.  The law allows judges to order ignition interlocks for up to five years for second-time offenders. MADD also proudly recognizes Representatives Rhonda Fields and Polly Lawrence, who serve as Victim Rights Caucus Chairs.  MADD appreciates the leadership of these lawmakers to advance victim rights. 

Representative Tom Rice authored HB 205, which creates a first-time offender interlock law. The legislation is pending in Committee ahead of the 2016 session.

The state’s all-offender interlock law went into effect in 2009, but lawmakers remain focused on making sure the law is working by taking much-needed improvements. Representatives Barbara Wheeler, Ron Sandack, and John Anthony authored HB 3533, which requires the use of ignition interlocks for five years for all repeat offenders. Representative Elaine Nekritz authored HB 1446, which requires fourth-time offenders to use an interlock for the rest of their lives. Senator Steve Stadelman authored SB 627, which allows any first-time offender to go on an interlock immediately after revocation, as opposed to waiting 30 days.  MADD also recognizes Secretary of State Jesse White for convening a working group of stakeholders to make these recommendations, and for his efforts to enforce the law and stop drunk driving. MADD thanks Representative John D'Amico for supporting HB 3533, HB 1446 and SB 627.

Senator Dennis Kruse authored SB 444, which would require the use of an ignition interlock for convicted drunk drivers who drove intoxicated with a child passenger in the vehicle. 

Representative Sandy Salmon authored HB 186, which would create an all-offender interlock law in Iowa.

Representative Dennis Keene and Senator McGarvey authored legislation requiring ignition interlocks for all repeat offenders, refusals, cases of child endangerment and first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or greater. The new law went into effect earlier this year. 

Senator Julie Raque Adams authored legislation that would have eliminated the option for DUI Shock probation, which allows drunk drivers who cause fatal crashes to have multiple-year sentences reduced to days. Senator Dennis Parrett authored legislation that would have extended the amount of time a DUI offense remains on an offender’s record from five to 10 years.

Delegate Ben Kramer authored legislation creating an all-offender interlock law.  MADD hopes lawmakers advance the legislation in 2016.

Senator James E. Timilty authored all-offender interlock legislation, SB 1895.  The bill is pending in the legislative process.

Senator Tonya Schuitmaker authored SB 175 and SB 176, which would help ensure Michigan’s ignition interlock law is working to stop drunk drivers.  Representative Klint Kesto authored similar legislation in the House (HB 4979, HB 4980, HB 4981)

Representative Kim Norton authored HF 1112, creating an all-offender interlock law.  The legislation carries over into 2016. 

Representative Caleb Jones and Senator Will Kraus championed SB 254.  This new law allows the Department of Revenue to extend the period a motorist is required to maintain the ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle by three months if the ignition interlock detects an attempt to tamper with the device.  This new law is critical in ensuring interlocked offenders have learned to driver sober.

New Jersey
Senator Nicholas Scutari authored all-offender interlock legislation S 385/A 1368.  The legislation was championed by co-sponsors Assemblyman Ralph Caputo and Assemblyman Joseph Lagana.

New Mexico
Senator Torraco authored SB 499 creating extra penalties for driving drunk with a child passenger in a vehicle.  Representative Pacheco authored HB 303 allowing for law enforcement to conduct no refusal activities. 

North Carolina
These lawmakers coauthored legislation creating (HB 877/SB 619) creating an all-offender interlock law. The legislation is pending consideration in 2016.  Legislative champions include: Senators Josh Stein and Buck Newton, along with Representatives Jonathan Jordan, Darren Jackson and John Faircloth.

Senator John Rafferty and Representative Keith Greiner authored SB 290/HB 278 requiring interlocks for all first-time offenders with a BAC of .10 or greater. The legislation passed the Senate and is pending in the House. Senator Lloyd Smucker co-sponsored SB 290 and also authored SB 839, which creates a DUI felony law for third-time offenders. 

South Carolina
Senator Joel Lourie authored S 428, which would improve alcohol serving requirements. Senator Larry Martin authored S 428 relating to alcohol server training, S 178 improving field sobriety test requirements, and SB 590 improving the interlock law.  Senator Brad Hutto authored S 465 and SB 590 improving the state’s ignition interlock law.  Representative Rick Quinn authored H 3974 improving the ignition interlock law.   Representative Ralph Norman authored H 3441 relating to DUI Video recording requirements so that more DUI arrest result in convictions. Representative Anne Thayer authored H 3169 improving South Carolina’s ignition interlock. 

Thanks to the efforts of lawmakers, four new laws went into effect on July 1. HB0042/SB1315 by Representative William Lamberth and Senator Randy McNally requires that a person being convicted of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide serve a mandatory minimum sentence before being eligible for probation. HB0120/SB1316 by Representative Lamberth and Randy McNally creates a Class C Felony offense of aggravated vehicular assault, which is vehicular assault with certain aggravating factors (such as prior convictions for alcohol-related traffic offenses or a  blood alcohol concentration of .15 or greater).

HB00045/SB0030 by Representative Dale Carr and Senator Doug Overbey requires a person who commits aggravated vehicular homicide on or after July 1, 2015, to serve 60 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming release eligible; provided, however, that the person must serve at least 45 percent of the sentence imposed after the sentence-reduction credits are applied. 

HB1342/SB933 by Representative Terri Lynn Weaver and Senator Janice Bowling, clarifies that a deceased victim’s family has a right to have a photograph, determined by the court to be a reasonable depiction of the victim prior to the crime, be admitted during trial. 

Representative Jason Villalba authored HB 2246 making Texas the 25th state to enact an all-offender interlock law.  This new law was greatly helped by the leadership of Representative Senfronia Thompson and Speaker Joe Straus and by Senator Joan Huffman who carried the legislation in the Senate.

Senator Mike Padden authored legislation making a fourth DUI a felony. The legislation fell short in the House after passing twice in the Senate in 2015.  MADD hopes it will make it to the Governor in 2016.

Representative Dave Heaton and Senator Van Wanggaard authored SB 222/AB 266, which if passed, improves Wisconsin interlock law. Representative Andre Jacque and Senator Roger Roth authored AB 43/SB 29, which allows for law enforcement to request search warrants from judges if a first-time offender refuses. 

Representative Jim Ott authored many OWI reform measures including measures to: Criminalize first offense (AB 363, requires court appearances of OWI offenders (AB 352), mandatory minimums in injury crashes (AB 353), eliminate lookback period for second offenders (AB 444), third offense felony (AB 447), increase penalties for repeat offenders (AB 445), and AB 446 providing for mandatory minimums in fatal drunk driving crashes.  Senator Alberta Darling authored legislation that requires court appearances of OWI offenders (AB 352), mandatory minimums in injury crashes (AB 353), eliminate lookback period for second offenders (AB 444), third-offense felony (AB 447), increase penalties for repeat offenders (AB 445), and AB 446 providing for mandatory minimums in fatal drunk driving crashes.

Representative Terese Berceau and Senator Tim Carpenter authored AB 363 criminalizing a first OWI offense.

Thank you to all these legislative champions for helping MADD improve laws across the country and ultimately save lives as a result. You can take action to help MADD advance lifesaving legislation by going to  Every action you take helps us get one step closer to a future of No More Victims. 

Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Recognition

I love the opportunity to travel throughout the country and meet with the great people who support Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  However, sometimes the travel isn’t easy.   On my recent trip to Virginia, I had a flight cancelled, forcing me to take Uber from Newark Airport to LaGuardia, then have my flight delayed for hours, arriving in Virginia Beach minutes before the event.  But it was worth it.
Nearly 200 people gathered at the Founder’s Inn in Virginia Beach for a MADD Law Enforcement Recognition event.  It’s always an honor for me to talk to these heroes and present them with awards for their service.  These are the men and women who have boots on the ground 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help keep drunk drivers off the road.
Success and awards aren’t only measured in the arrests that are made, but also in the lives that are saved and the injuries that are prevented.  And all this is often is accomplished at the risk of the lives of these officers.  I talked about that to the honorees, their families and their friends… and thanked all of them for what they do.
Thank you Virginia for your work advancing MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.  Someday, there truly will be NO MORE VICTIMS.  By the way, I only had one flight delayed on the way back, but have wonderful memories to keep forever.

2015 Special Anniversary Edition MADDvocate

In honor of our 35th anniversary today, we are pleased to share with you our special 35th Anniversary Edition of MADDvocate.


In this issue, you’ll find compassionate and uplifting articles, including MADD Volunteers, Healing Hearts by Helping Others, the story of how three women turned their family tragedy into a passion to prevent drunk driving, Honoring Loved Ones, about new ways to honor victims and survivors, and much more.

This special edition of MADDvocate also includes an interactive timeline for MADD’s 35th Anniversary, as well as a update on MADD’s four mission prongs, some of the key highlights for each, and how they work together to create a future of No More Victims™.


Sponsored by:

MADD at 35: Creating a Future of No More Victims

For 35 years, MADD has worked tirelessly to change the narrative on substance-impaired driving. Many lives have been saved and much progress has been made since 1980; yet, there is still more to do.

This Saturday marks the official 35th anniversary for MADD. Since September 5, 1980, MADD has championed change across the country. A change in mindset, a change in action, a change in outcome. MADD was founded because of a mother’s grief, and the determination to turn that grief into action. That determination, that commitment to change, is what has always driven us. 

As our 35th anniversary year kicked off in January, we unveiled an updated mission statement to showcase where we’ll focus our efforts going forward:

MADD’s mission is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, serve the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.

Let’s take a look at MADD’s four mission prongs and how they work together to create a future of No More Victims™.

End Drunk Driving

MADD’s work at the state and national levels for the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®has given it the influence and success it is today, just 9 years after it began. From supporting high visibility law enforcement to pushing for all offender ignition interlock legislation and advanced vehicle technology, we WILL end drunk driving. 

At MADD’s National Conference in Washington D.C. this summer, we joined automakers, NHTSA and the Department of Transportation for the global unveiling of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) technology. It was an historic moment, and gave us a glimpse of a very promising future.  

Help Fight Drugged Driving

The biggest change to MADD’s mission this year is the addition of drugged driving. Our mission must be inclusive of everything we do. Drugged driving was part of MADD’s original mission 35 years ago, and we’ve always served drugged driving victims. Having it spelled out says to the victims and survivors of drugged driving that their tragedies are real and that they matter. 

And at a time in our country when drugged driving continues to gain traction among the public and media alike, MADD is expected to have a voice in determining how to combat it. Drugged driving is a problem in every community across America.

MADD is a research and data-driven organization, rooted in facts, to determine sound procedures for where we’ll go and why. There is much we don’t know about drugged driving, but we’re going to find out. And we’re going to use what we find out, to decide how to address it.

Serve the Victims of These Violent Crimes

At our core, MADD is a victim services organization, dedicated to providing hope and healing to victims whenever, and wherever they need it. While we know we can create a future of No More Victims – we’re committed to serving and reaching more victims and survivors until that day comes.

Prevent Underage Drinking

Another way MADD will create a future of No More Victims is to impact the next generation of drivers. MADD’s Power of Parents, Power of You(th) and Power of Community programs – when implemented together – create a community-wide effort to address the dangers and consequences of underage drinking. 

For those we couldn’t save, with those we have, and to those we can. Together, we WILL create a future of No More Victims.

Exclusive Benefits and Discounts for MADD Supporters from Nationwide

You and your support of MADD are saving lives and serving victims of drunk and drugged driving.

We are excited to announce that Nationwide® is offering exclusive discounts on insurance for you and other MADD members and supporters around the country. You can learn more here.

Each Nationwide policy purchased through this partnership helps support MADD’s efforts. But Nationwide’s support doesn’t stop there. Nationwide is also a presenting sponsor of Power of Parents® and Tie One On For Safety®.

Thank you Nationwide for supporting MADD and our supporters, and a future with No More Victims™!


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