MADD Applauds Introduction of Alabama Legislation Requiring Ignition Interlocks for Convicted DUI Offenders
Alabama is Currently the Only State Without an Interlock Law
Montgomery, Ala. – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) commends legislation recently introduced in Alabama requiring certain convicted drunk drivers to “blow before they go” by using an ignition interlock on their vehicle. The legislation, SB 276 and HB 361, requires ignition interlocks for all repeat offenders and first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or greater.
“Alabama is taking a great step in making their roadways safer through this legislation. Requiring convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks, or ‘blow before they go,’ has been proven to save lives and stop drunk driving,” said Frank Harris, MADD State Legislative Affairs Manager. “MADD urges Alabama to enact this important legislation.”
SB 276 is sponsored by Senator Bill Holtzclaw while HB 361 is sponsored by Representative Mike Hill.
Alabama is currently the only state in the U.S. without an ignition interlock law. Currently, 13 states require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Eleven states, including Florida and Tennessee, require these devices for first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater.
“MADD applauds Senator Holtzclaw and Representative Hill for their leadership in reforming Alabama’s drunk driving law,” added Harris.
Studies show that a first-time convicted drunk driver is not a first-time offender, but rather it is simply the first time they have been caught. First-time offenders have driven drunk an average of 87 times before they are convicted. And according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ignition interlocks, on average, reduce drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent.
In Alabama, there are 54,043 people with three or more DUI convictions and 22,306 with five or more convictions. In 2008, 280 people in Alabama were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver.
For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit www.madd.org.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother who lost her daughter in a crash, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21™ is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence® to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 10 minutes at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or call 1-800-GET-MADD.