From MADD National President Helen Witty:

The highly respected Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) today confirmed the lifesaving benefits of requiring all passenger vehicles to have advanced passive drunk driving prevention technology.

The important new study found that anti-drunk driving technology could save 9,000 lives per year if systems are set to detect a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 and higher. The lives saved would increase gradually as the systems are installed; half the vehicle fleet would have the systems after 12 years.

MADD has known for years that passive drunk driving prevention systems would save thousands of lives annually, but this new estimate makes an ever more compelling case for installation in all passenger vehicles as soon as possible.

This is exactly why MADD has challenged the auto industry to move forward aggressively with this technology and why we are so grateful to our champions on Capitol Hill — Congresswomen Debbie Dingell (MI) and Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Senators Tom Udall (NM) and Rick Scott (FL) — who have worked so hard to pass federal legislation aimed at making this happen.

We urge the Senate to follow the House action earlier this month in approving legislation requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a federal standard for drunk driving prevention technology. Thousands of lives are at stake each and every year.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

CONTACT: Becky Iannotta, becky.iannotta@madd.org, 202.600.2032