Lifesaving Bill Sent to Governor To Sign
OKLAHOMA CITY (May 25, 2017) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) applauds the Oklahoma Legislature for passing lifesaving drunk driving legislation today, creating an all-offender ignition interlock law that will save lives and prevent injuries caused by repeat drunk driving. If SB 643, authored by Senator Kim David, is signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma will become the 29th state to require ignition interlocks as a condition of driving after a drunk driving offense.
SB 643 requires the use of interlocks for at least six months to regain driving privileges. The legislation also creates the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP) to help first-time offenders get their lives back on track while using an ignition interlock to ensure public safety. Upon successful completion of the program, the offender can regain full driving privileges.
Currently, Oklahoma requires ignition interlocks for first offenders with a .15 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and repeat offenders. MADD believes all drunk driving offenders should use an ignition interlock for at least six months before regaining unrestricted driving privileges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ignition interlocks stop repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent compared to license suspension alone. Recent Studies by the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University have concluded that all-offender ignition interlock laws reduce drunk driving fatalities by 7 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
Drunk driving deaths are increasing across the country. In Oklahoma, traffic fatalities caused by drunk driving increased 4.3 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Today, Oklahoma lawmakers took a giant step toward protecting our communities from the devastating effects of drunk driving. We urge Governor Fallin to sign this lifesaving measure into law,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “MADD is grateful to Senator David, Representative Scott Biggs and all the legislators who voted for this proven countermeasure to stop this 100 percent preventable crime.”
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 350,000 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.
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