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Thursday, June 07, 2007

MADD Demands Congress Hold Immediate Hearings to Address Drunk Driving Solutions

Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths Highest In 15 Years; MADD Calls For Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks for All Convicted Drunk Drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's initial Fatality Analysis Reporting System statistics reveals that alcohol-related traffic deaths are up to 17,941 for 2006 versus 17,525 for 2005, signifying a 2.4 percent increase. Deaths involving a driver with a .08 Blood Alcohol Content or higher rose from 13,613 in 2005 to 13,990 in 2006, denoting a 2.8 percent increase. In this time period, overall traffic fatalities are down slightly by 0.3 percent.

In a recently-released statement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) National President Glynn R. Birch, said, "Mothers Against Drunk Driving is deeply saddened to learn that alcohol-related traffic deaths are at an all time high since 1992 and is asking the country to commit to the elimination of drunk driving."

There are 1.4 million drunk driving arrests in this country every year. MADD believes that, despite the devastating effect it has on families, the reason people continue to drive drunk is because they can. MADD is demanding that Congress arrange immediate hearings and develop a plan of action that is based upon proven solutions. On June 7, MADD’s National Board of Directors will meet with congressional safety leaders to discuss its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and to lobby for an increased concentration on drunk driving. U. S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters stated that the Department of Transportation and Governors across the country will work closely with MADD to reverse these numbers.

MADD calls The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving "a road map for a nation without drunk driving." It calls for exhaustive, high visibility law enforcement; compulsory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers; investigation of advanced vehicle-based technology, and public support.

At the moment, there are several advanced technologies being developed that may eventually make it impossible for vehicles to be driven by drunks. Until then, proven techniques must be relied upon to reduce drunk driving, such as alcohol ignition interlocks and increased high visibility police presence, and sobriety checkpoints in all 50 states.

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