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MADD Report: Colorado Ranks 34th in Fight Against Drunk Driving

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Bud Balke of MADDColorado ranks 34th in Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD’s) Report to the Nation, released yesterday in conjunction with the nonprofit group’s fifth anniversary. The report rates each state in the U.S. on the progress it is making towards eliminating drunk driving.

MADD’s interactive U.S. map reveals that Utah is number one in the rankings. It received a five-star rating, meaning that it has passed effective laws and is using effective drunk-driving countermeasures, independent of a state’s fatality numbers. Also receiving five-star ratings are Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska. Those states with the least effective measures or laws against drunk driving include: Montana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Dakota, which all received one-star ratings.

MADD reports that it determined each state’s rating according to the state’s adoption of the following proven drunk-driving countermeasures:

  • Requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers;
  • Conducting sobriety checkpoints;
  • Creating enhanced penalties for people who drive drunk with children as passengers;
  • Participating in “no-refusal” activities for those suspected of drunk driving; and
  • Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk-driving offenders.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “While we have made great strides over the last 30 years, drunk driving is still the deadliest epidemic on America’s roads, killing approximately 11,000 people every year. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation is so committed to working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to save lives by promoting strong anti-drunk driving laws, enforcement strategies and public awareness efforts.”

MADD writes:

The Report to the Nation also outlines the $132 billion annual cost of drunk driving in America, which consists of monetary and quality-of-life costs to victims of drunk driving, along with costs to both the government and employers. This includes $61 billion in monetary costs and $71 billion in quality-of-life losses stemming from all drunk driving crashes. The federal government paid $4.5 billion of this bill, while state and local governments paid $3.2 billion. Employers paid $10.7 billion, including $3.7 billion related to crashes involving work trips and $7 billion due to crashes outside of work involving employees and benefit-eligible dependents. […]

To view MADD’s Report to the Nation, which is sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and State Farm Insurance, visit MADD is the sole author of the report, which is based on 31 years of experience working on lifesaving legislation, along with data from various respected government, research and public safety organization sources.

There has been substantial progress in three areas since MADD first launched its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving in 2006. It includes support for high-visibility law enforcement efforts (such as sobriety checkpoints), and for national awareness campaigns, like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

There are now more than twice as many ignition interlocks as there were in 2006, plus the number of states requiring the interlocks for drunk-driving offenders has increased from one to 15. In addition, the number of states requiring interlocks for some type of first-time offender has increased from four to 32.

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program recently announced the beginning of Phase II in the effort to develop an inexpensive, unobtrusive, reliable, problem-free auto technology that will make a vehicle inoperable by a drunk driver (a person whose blood alcohol concentration is .08 or greater). Phase II is expected to produce a drivable test vehicle in two years, with a goal of having the technology available for voluntary installation in production vehicles in eight to 10 years.

MADD’s National President Jan Withers said:

‘Today, there is no longer a debate on the effectiveness of ignition interlocks — we’ve seen the lifesaving results — and every state should require these devices for all convicted drunk drivers. Along with broad support for high-visibility law enforcement and the DADSS program, the nation is truly on a path toward the elimination of drunk driving. […]

‘MADD calls on the nation to rededicate itself to efforts to save lives, prevent injuries and eliminate this primary threat on our nation’s roadways.’

Here is a link to MADD’s interactive map of the U.S. and how each state ranks on the list:

You can take action to help turn cars into the cure to eliminate drunk driving by sending out a letter:

Here are MADD’s tips for what to do if you see a drunk driver:

First, stay as far away from the other vehicle as possible.

Second, do not try to pass the vehicle or signal the driver to pull over. Doing so could result in a collision.

Third, take notice of the license plate number of the driver along with details of the vehicle including make, model and color. However, make sure you don’t compromise your own safety trying to obtain this information.

Finally, pull over and call 911. Give the exact location of the vehicle, including the name of the road or cross streets and the direction the vehicle is traveling. Give a complete description of the vehicle and the manner in which the vehicle is being driven.

MADD also tells how to spot a drunk driver:

Image by KOMUnews, used under its Creative Commons license.


One Response to “MADD Report: Colorado Ranks 34th in Fight Against Drunk Driving”


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