-- Efforts by the board further validate MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® --
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) today praised the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for approving recommendations calling for all convicted drunk drivers to receive an ignition interlock device on their vehicles, as well as the development of new in-vehicle technologies, which could one day prevent a drunk driver from operating a vehicle.
"The NTSB's recommendations represent another milestone for MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "MADD sincerely thanks the board and applauds the leadership of NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman and Member Mark Rosekind. Chairman Hersman and Member Rosekind are true champions of highway safety."
Currently, 17 states require interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Ignition interlocks are critical to eliminating drunk driving, as a majority of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive on a suspended license. States that are enforcing all-offender ignition interlock laws, such as Arizona and Oregon, have cut DUI deaths in half, largely due to comprehensive interlock laws requiring all drunk drivers receive the device.
The new recommendations are a welcome update. Previous NTSB recommendations focused on so-called "hard-core drunk drivers," or those DUI offenders with multiple DUIs or blood alcohol levels of 0.15 or greater. However, research has demonstrated that focusing on this narrow subset of offenders will have little impact on reducing overall drunk driving levels. According to research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), all-offender ignition interlock laws are estimated to save 5.5 times more lives annually than hard-core drunk driving laws. "In other words, in order to successfully combat drunk driving you must attack the whole problem, not just a portion of the problem," said Withers.
In addition to ignition interlocks, the NTSB called for continuing research of advanced in-vehicle technologies, which could one day stop a drunk driver from driving his or her car. Currently, research by the federal government and the world's leading automakers is underway to develop the driver alcohol detection system for safety, or DADSS. If the DADSS research is successful, it could lead to the eventual elimination of drunk driving.
The NTSB's recommendations follow the July 2012 enactment of Surface Transportation Reauthorization legislation, known as MAP–21, which includes a number of drunk driving reforms, including providing incentive grants to states that adopt all-offender ignition interlock laws. "The U.S. Congress, the Obama Administration, and now the NTSB are taking decisive action to end the violent crime of drunk driving," said Withers.
MADD looks forward to continuing to work with the NTSB to eliminate drunk driving. It is now critical that the remaining 33 states act on this recommendation by enacting and enforcing laws requiring ALL convicted drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock device.
For more information on MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, visit www.madd.org/campaign.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America's roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving