Did you know?

In 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving crashes - one every 51 minutes - and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes.
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Wisconsin is the only state in the nation where a first drunk driving offense is not a crime, rather a traffic ticket. In 2009, the state made improvements to their DUI law by requiring interlocks for first time convicted offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater. MADD is working to require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, legalize sobriety checkpoints and to make a first offense a misdemeanor.

Conducting Sobriety checkpoints
Sobriety checkpoints continue to be the primary way for law enforcement to protect the public from drunk drivers. These checkpoints are proven to reduce drunk driving fatalities by up to 20 percent by providing a general deterrent to drinking and driving. They deliver a very direct message that if you choose to drive drunk, you will be held accountable. High visibility enforcement campaigns, such as the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), have been proven effective in the fight to eliminate drunk driving. Sobriety checkpoints are also cost-effective and reduce drunk driving expenses by at least six dollars for every dollar invested. Currently, 38 states and the District of Columbia participate in sobriety checkpoint programs, which are designed to deter drunk drivers and reduce fatal crashes.
Ignition Interlocks for all Drunk Driving Offenders
Ignition interlocks are proven effective in saving lives and reducing drunk driving recidivism. More than 15 peer-reviewed studies recommend requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted offenders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommend that every state enact an all-offender ignition interlock law. Currently, 20 states have enacted laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater. Most of these laws typically require first-time offenders to go an interlock for around six months, and longer periods for repeat offenders, before an offender is able to regain unrestricted driving privileges.
Enhancing Penalties for DUI Child Endangerment
Drunk driving with a child passenger is a form of child abuse, and no child should ever be put in that kind of danger. Today, 45 states and the District of Columbia have enacted child endangerment laws or statutes that allow for additional penalties for a drunk driving conviction with a child passenger in the vehicle. However, these laws vary widely in severity and definition of a child passenger. MADD recognizes New York’s child endangerment law — Leandra’s Law — as the most comprehensive legislation in the nation to protect our children.
Participating in No-refusal Events
Driving is a privilege, not a right. Offenders who refuse to submit to blood alcohol concentration testing present a significant challenge to law enforcement and the courts. No-refusal activities have been proven successful in reducing the number of offenders who refuse testing by allowing law enforcement to easily and quickly obtain a warrant to test the suspected offender. No-refusal stars have been given to states that have a program in place where prosecutors and judges make themselves available to streamline the warrant acquisition process, helping to eliminate refusals.
Utilizing Administrative License Revocation
Administrative license revocation (ALR) is swift punishment for drunk driving through the immediate confiscation of an offender’s driver’s license by the arresting officer. NHTSA reports that ALR reduces DUI fatalities by as much as nine percent. Before MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, most offenders going through the ALR process were able obtain a geographic- or time-restricted license. However, an emerging trend to improve the success of ALR is to require installation of an ignition interlock as a condition of obtaining a restricted license following a drunk driving arrest.

Drunk Driving:

200 representing 33% of all total traffic deaths, a 1.5% increase from last year.






$1 billion




Underage Drinking:



24.00% people

173,000 people

SAMHSA Report to Congress on The Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking, May 2011
NOTE: Binge Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.


Vehicular Homicide
Statutes providing for penalties to be brought against a drunk driver who kills another person through the operation of a motor vehicle, either intentionally or negligently.

Social Host
Social host laws allow for adults to be held responsible to furnishing alcohol to those under 21 years old

Primary Belt Law
Statutes which allow for law enforcement to issue a fine or citation on the sole grounds of a vehicle occupant not wearing a safety belt

Mandatory BAC Testing for Drivers who Survive
Mandatory blood alcohol testing of all drivers involved in serious injury crashes who survive.

Mandatory BAC Test for Drivers Who are Killed
Statutes which create mandatory testing for all drivers killed in vehicle crashes.

Mandatory Alcohol Assessment/Treatment
Law that mandates all convicted DUI/DWI offenders undergo an assessment of alcohol abuse problems and participate in required treatment program.

Ignition Interlocks
Statutes which allow for a judge or administrative agency to order a convicted drunk driver to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for a period of time following a conviction for drunk driving

DUI Felony
Law that makes DUI/DWI a felony offense based on the number of prior convictions.

DUI Child Endangerment
Statutes which allow for additional penalties for a drunk driving conviction with a child passenger in a vehicle

Dram Shop
Laws allowing liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties as a result of alcohol-related crashes.

Administrative License Revocation
Administrative license revocation (ALR) is the removal of a DUI/DWI offender's driver's license at the time of an arrest upon the failure or refusal of a chemical test.

.08 Per Se Law
Law that makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle at or above .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration.

Take Action:

Click below to see what legislative activities MADD is spearheading in your state*. From there, you can send a personalized letter or e-mail to your representatives about the issues important to you.

By participating, you will help pass legislation to keep our roads safe from drunk driving and to prevent underage drinking. 

It takes only two minutes, but the impact can last a lifetime.

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