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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
MADD Campaigns for Ignition Interlock Bills
In 2009, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is growing stronger by the day. Just a few weeks into the new year, legislators across the U.S. have begun introducing life-saving ignition interlock bills. In many states, the proposed legislation would strengthen an existing law that does not mandate interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.
California's Assemblyman Mike Feuer introduced a bill that would enable four counties to require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. This bill would be a huge step toward reducing the number of drunk driving fatalities in the Golden State. In 2007, 1155 people died in drunk driving accidents on California roads, and scores more were injured.
Representative Crouch of Indiana introduced a bill that would require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. The number of drunk driving fatalities in the state dropped in 2007, but the Hoosier State still wants for a strong, comprehensive interlock law.
Ricci's Law, a bill mandating ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in New Jersey, was head before the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on January 26, 2009. The hearing is open to the public, and MADD will be there to testify.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and 28 co-sponsors have introduced a comprehensive bill to the New York Legislature that would mandate interlocks for all convicted drunk driving offenders.
Two bills under consideration in Texas this session cover different but equally important issues. The first, introduced by Senator Ellis, would require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers while the second, introduced by Representative Smith, and would permit sobriety checkpoints. The Lone Star State is one of ten states that currently ban sobriety checkpoints.
One state moving closer to introducing a comprehensive ignition interlock bill is Kansas. Presently, Kansas already mandates interlocks for high-BAC offenders, but this new bill would bring the threshold down to .08 BAC for a first offense.
Delegate Iaquinto of Virgina introduced legislation that demands ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Virginia's present interlock law does not cover all convicted offenders.
Legislature in Mississippi will consider a comprehensive ignition interlock bill that will strengthen the state’s present interlock law by requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, beginning with the first offense, at a .08 BAC. Laura Dean-Mooney, national president of MADD, paid a call on the state capitol of Jackson to participate in a press conference to announce this life-saving legislation.
Wisconsin consistently ranks as one of the worst states, but is trying to change that by introducing legislation that would strengthen their impotent drunk driving laws.
Wyoming is introducing two bills that seek to strengthen the current DUI law by mandating interlocks for all first-time, high-BAC convictions and repeat offenders.
Click here for more information about MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, and click here to support the ignition interlock campaign in your state.
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