MADD Urges New York to Close Loopholes in Leandra’s Law
New study proves ignition interlocks are the right course for all convicted drunk drivers
ALBANY – A report issued on Saturday in The Buffalo News called attention to what Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been saying since last May: drunk drivers in New York continue to skirt ignition interlocks by exploiting loopholes in the current law. According to New York officials, drunk drivers are going to great lengths to avoid having ignition interlocks installed, including retitling their vehicles under someone else’s name.
News of convicted drunk drivers continuing to skirt the law comes as yet another study shows that requiring all convicted drunk drivers to use an interlock is the right course of action. A new research paper published by Dr. Susan Ferguson in the Traffic Injury Prevention Journal further validates MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, in part by stating that “specific deterrent approaches, aimed at deterring DWI offenders from reoffending, such as alcohol ignition interlocks, should be applied to all apprehended drivers, whatever their drinking history. Evidence suggests that they (all drunk drivers) could benefit from them.”
“The findings of Dr. Ferguson’s report once again validate MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which includes requiring all convicted drunk drivers to prove they are sober before their vehicle will start. The evidence on the effectiveness of ignition interlocks is clear. MADD calls on New York state to close loopholes in Leandra’s Law in order to ensure all convicted drunk drivers receive an ignition interlock device,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.
In May, Withers wrote to the New York State Assembly calling on members to pass S 6636/A 9544, authored by Senator Charles Fuschillo and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, which would have closed loopholes in Leandra’s Law. Here is the full letter sent to the Assembly. Experts believe that by closing these loopholes, more drunk drivers will choose to install ignition interlocks, thereby lowering fatalities in New York. S 6636/A 9544 passed the Senate, but was held up in the Assembly Transportation Committee in June.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, 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™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
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