We are proud to announce the “2019 Legislators of the Year” – 45 state lawmakers, three governors and one lieutenant governor for their commitment to saving lives. These MADD champions represent 20 states, including seven from Wisconsin, five from Maryland and Texas, four from New York and New Jersey, three from Florida and Massachusetts, two from Alabama, California, Kentucky, Oklahoma and South Carolina and one from Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia. This is the seventh year MADD is recognizing legislative champions.
Alabama: Senator Jim McClendon and Representative Arnold Mooney authored SB 2 and HB 55 aimed at improving the implementation of the 2018 ignition interlock law.
California: Senator Jerry Hill authored SB 545, or Matt’s Law, which would create an all-offender ignition interlock law. Matt’s Law passed the Senate and is pending in the Assembly. Assemblywoman Autumn Burke authored Liam’s Law, which lowers the illegal blood alcohol concentration from .08 to .05. Liam’s Law is pending in the Assembly.
Florida: Senator Dennis Baxley, Representative Scott Plakon and Representative Brad Drake worked to improve the drunk driving ignition interlock law.
Georgia: Representative Chuck Efstration for holding hearings this session to ensure a technical fix to the state’s implied consent refusal law. MADD also appreciates the Chairman’s efforts to improve the ignition interlock law.
Idaho: Representative Ryan Kerby authored a new law H 78, which requires the use of ignition interlocks for all first-time offenders who enter into a diversion agreement.
Kentucky: Senator Whitney Westerfield authored S 85, which made Kentucky the 33rd state to enact an all-offender ignition interlock law. Chairman Westerfield led a stakeholder group that helped form this new lifesaving law. Representative Richard Heath, a victim of drunk driving, led the charge for this legislation in the House.
Maryland: Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary and Senator Will Smith authored legislation mandating the use of ignition interlock for Probation Before Judgement agreements for drunk drivers. Senator Ben Kramer and Delegate Erek Barron authored legislation mandating ignition interlocks to be equipped with cameras. Governor Larry Hogan remains a vocal advocate for drunk driving reform, including ignition interlocks, advanced drunk driving detection technology, and improving the repeat offender law.
Massachusetts: Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Timothy Whelan authored all-offender ignition interlock legislation. Governor Charlie Baker put forward legislation to create an all-offender law. The legislation is pending in committee. Massachusetts is the only state that does not allow for the use of interlocks for first-time offenders.
Michigan: Representative Abdullah Hammoud authored legislation to create an all-offender ignition interlock law and to lower the illegal blood alcohol concentration to .05.
New Jersey: Senator Nicolas Scutari has authored all-offender interlock legislation since 2012. This year, New Jersey became the 34th state to enact an all-offender law thanks to his leadership and that of Senator Joseph Lagana and Assemblywoman Joann Downey. MADD also appreciates the efforts of Governor Phil Murphy for signing this legislation into place and ensuring it is implemented.
New Mexico: Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto authored legislation making New Mexico the 48th state to enact a drunk driving child endangerment law. This law creates a separate traffic statute for DUI offenders to be charged for driving drunk with a child passenger in their vehicle.
New York: Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner authored legislation (S 5671/A 7494) to improve the implementation of ignition interlocks for drunk drivers. The legislation passed the Senate. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and Senator John Liu authored legislation lowering the illegal blood alcohol concentration to .05.
Oklahoma: Senator Kim David and Representative Chris Kannady authored a law incentivizing the use of ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers and making Oklahoma’s law truly all-offender.
Oregon: Senate President Peter Courtney authored legislation lowering the illegal blood alcohol concentration to .05.
South Carolina: Senator Brad Hutto and Representative Eddie Tallon authored legislation creating an all-offender ignition interlock law. The legislation passed the Senate and is pending in the House.
South Dakota: Representative Tim Goodwin authored legislation creating a drunk driving child endangerment law.
Texas: Senator José Menéndez and Representative Andrew Murr authored HB 3582, which mandates the use of ignition interlocks for any deferred adjudication agreement. Representative James White and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick helped with the passage of this lifesaving legislation. Representative Reggie Smith authored HB 2258 which mandates the use of ignition interlocks as a condition of bond for DUI child endangerment. This legislation was incorporated into HB 3582.
Utah: In 2017, Representative Norm Thurston successfully authored legislation lowering the illegal blood alcohol concentration to .05.
Virginia: Delegate Joe Lindsey authored legislation to require the use of ignition interlocks for drunk drivers who refuse a test.
Wisconsin: Senator Chris Larson and Representative Christine Sinicki authored all-offender ignition interlock legislation. Senator André Jacque and Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt authored legislation incentivizing ignition interlocks for first-time convicted drunk drivers. Senator Alberta Darling and Representative Jim Ott authored drunk driving reform legislation that makes Wisconsin the 50th state to make drunk driving chargeable as a misdemeanor. Senator Van Wanggaard authored legislation to improve the implementation of the current ignition interlock law, which helps to stop around 40,000 drunk driving attempts each year.