President announces re-authorization transportation plan. Last month, President Obama outlined a four-year, $302-billion transportation plan. The current transportation law does not expire until the end of September, but lawmakers have begun working on a re-authorization plan. The Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturer’s will join efforts with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other traffic safety advocates to work this effort on the Hill.
To be sure, passing a major transportation bill through a divided Congress who is averse to big, costly legislation has been a considerable challenge in recent years, with a majority of the legislation focusing on highways, public transit, bridges and other transportation issues.
Our goal will be to work with members of congress to address language in the U.S. transportation code, to include language that allows drunk driving offenders to drive unsanctioned and as quickly as possible while interlock equipped. There currently are too many obstacles and restrictions in place for states to qualify for highway incentive grant funds. Flexibility in these states interlock laws will improve efficiency and safety, allowing states to implement ignition interlock laws, saving costs and resulting in safer communities and roadways.
Researchers have found that after ignition interlock devices were installed, re-arrest rates for alcohol-impaired driving by those with suspended licenses decreased by a median of 67 percent.
MADD supports immediate reinstatement of driving privileges for drunk drivers providing the offender uses an ignition interlock. An interlock is more effective than license suspension alone, as 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.1
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), interlocks are effective in saving lives and reducing drunken driving repeat offenses by 67 percent. Specifically, all offender interlock laws, when implemented well, are found to reduce repeat offenses significantly.2
1 Nichols, James, and H. Lawrence Ross. “The Effectiveness of Legal Sanctions in Dealing with Drinking Drivers.” Alcohol, Drugs and Driving 6(2) (1990): 3355. and Peck, Raymond, R. Jean Wilson, and Lawrence Sutton. “Driver License Strategies for Controlling the Persistent DUI Offender,” Strategies for Dealing with the Persistent Drinking Driver. Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Circular No. 437. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council, 1999.
2 McCartt, Anne, et al. “Washington State’s Alcohol Ignition Interlock Law: Effects on Recidivism Among First-Time DUI Offenders.” March 2012.
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