LANSING, Mich., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm recently signed legislation into law which will establish a three year pilot program designed to reduce repeat offender drunk driving in Michigan by taking a comprehensive approach to this problem. The legislation was championed by, among others, Diageo, the world's leading premium spirits, beer and wine business, and a leader in the fight against drunk driving.
"We are proud to support this legislation to help prevent drunk driving and rehabilitate dangerous repeat DWI offenders in Michigan," said Josh Sanders, Diageo's Senior Director of State Government Relations. "We applaud the efforts of the Michigan legislature and Michigan's judges, led by Judge Harvey Hoffman, which laid the groundwork for passage of this landmark bill. We also commend Governor Granholm who – with the stroke of a pen – signed a bill into law that we believe has the power to save lives."
The new statute establishes a three year pilot project that builds on Michigan's existing DWI/Sobriety Court program. That program utilizes a comprehensive approach to address the underlying alcoholism of most repeat offenders, requiring treatment for alcohol abuse and regular drug and alcohol testing. Their progress is monitored through bi-weekly court appearances, allowing judges to reward those who comply with the program and swiftly penalize those who are not participating in treatment. The DWI recidivism rates for DWI/Sobriety Court participants are much lower than repeat offenders on standard probation.
The new pilot program allows DWI/Sobriety Court participants to get restricted driver's licenses after the mandatory 45-day license revocation period if they have ignition interlocks on their vehicles. Ignition interlock devices require an individual to blow into a dash-mounted alcohol testing device before starting a vehicle. If the individual tests positive for alcohol, the vehicle will not start. The restricted licenses will allow offenders to drive to and from work, school and an alcohol treatment program. The new laws take effect on January 1, 2011.
Diageo has worked with legislators throughout the nation to increase penalties for drunk driving. In addition, Diageo is a founding member and major supporter of The Century Council, an organization funded by some of the country's leading distillers committed to developing programs to combat drunk driving and underage drinking, and an active supporter of this legislation.
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).
For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.
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