-- County's enforcement of ignition interlock requirements serves as a model for the country --
NEW YORK, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) praises Nassau County for their recent two-week sweep that resulted in the arrest of 25 convicted drunk drivers who were in violation of court-ordered ignition interlock requirements. The Nassau County District Attorney's Office and the Nassau County Department of Probation are a stellar example of a successful coordinated effort to enforce lifesaving laws requiring convicted drunk drivers to prove they are sober before their car will start.
"Nassau County's commitment to enforcing the state's ignition interlock law will undoubtedly result in lives saved and injuries prevented," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "MADD encourages other counties across the country to follow Nassau County's lead, making sure that convicted drunk drivers are not endangering public safety by driving a vehicle without an interlock."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ignition interlocks have been proven effective in reducing repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent. Unfortunately, less than a quarter of all drunk driving offenders nationwide get ignition interlock devices, either due to lack of a law requiring the device or failure in the implementation of all-offender interlock laws.
The strength of New York's model can be attributed to the probation offices' monitoring and supervision of DUI offenders. During the recent sweep, the Nassau County District Attorney's Office, in conjunction with the Nassau County Department of Probation, used surveillance on convicted drunk drivers to ensure their compliance with the state's ignition interlock law. The 25 violators were then arrested after being observed driving illegally to meet with their probation officers.
"This crackdown sends a clear message to offenders that circumventing ignition interlock requirements will only land you back in front of a judge," said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. "I strongly believe that the protections provided by Leandra's Law and ignition interlock devices are essential to keeping every innocent motorist and pedestrian safe on our roadways. I want to thank MADD and its members for their tireless advocacy on behalf of the victims of drunk driving."
Laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers are a critical component of MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® . The recently signed federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), fully endorsed MADD's Campaign, in part by providing financial incentives to states that pass all-offender ignition interlock laws.
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.