As Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) looks ahead to 2020, it is also looking back on a year of legislative victories that brought us closer to a future of No More Victims.
From adding Kentucky and New Jersey to a list of states requiring ignition interlocks for all offenders to preserving sobriety checkpoints in North Dakota and leveling stiffer penalties for driving drunk with a child passenger in New Mexico, we successfully advocated across the nation for meaningful changes to the drunk driving law in 2019.
We also stood side-by-side with members of U.S. Congress to support federal legislation that would require advanced alcohol detection technology in all new vehicles – and potentially eliminate drunk driving in America. You can ask your U.S. Senator to make alcohol detection technology standard in all new vehicles by emailing them here.
To all our supporters, thank you. We are grateful to every victim, volunteer, donor, lawmaker and stakeholder who made it possible to pass laws proven to reduce drunk driving and save lives in 2019.
Because of you, MADD was able to:
• Pass all-offender ignition interlock laws in Kentucky and New Jersey.
• Pass interlock incentive laws in Idaho, Oklahoma and Texas. These laws incentivize first-time offenders to use an ignition interlock and require these devices as part of any plea agreement. Laws like this are important. According to MADD’s court monitoring report released this year, less than two-thirds of people arrested for drunk driving are convicted of the original charge.
• Deter impaired driving in North Dakota. MADD helped defeat legislation that would have outlawed sobriety checkpoints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving by 20 percent.
• Protect children in New Mexico. The state became the 48th to create a separate vehicle traffic law for driving drunk with a child passenger.
• Advocate for victims rights in Wisconsin. A new law now mandates a minimum five-year sentence in cases of drunk drivers who kill.
Since MADD’s founding in 1980, drunk driving deaths have fallen by more than half. Yet more than 10,000 people die in these crashes each year. Every death is preventable.
That’s why we’re not stopping. And why we’re already mapping out where we can do the most good in 2020. Here’s what we hope to accomplish in the next 12 months:
• Require alcohol detection technology in all new vehicles through federal legislation.
• Pass all-offender laws in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
• Pass interlock incentive laws in Maryland, Ohio and Wisconsin.
• Improving ignition interlock laws in Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
• Lower the BAC to .05 in California, Michigan and New York.
Please stay tuned in the New Year for news on your state – and what you can do to help us save lives through better laws.