WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) sent a letter to Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) thanking him for his support of all-offender ignition interlock laws and his amendment to preserve this provision in federal highway safety legislation.
MADD is urging members of the Senate Commerce Committee to accept Senator Booker’s amendment to the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015, or S. 1732.
“Senator Booker is a true champion in the battle to stop drunk driving,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “MADD is extremely grateful to Senator Booker for leading the effort to limit incentive grants to states that require ignition interlocks for all first-time offenders.”
Congress is currently considering a federal highway bill that would continue the incentive grants, passed by Congress in 2012 as part of MAP-21. The incentive, part of the larger Section 405 traffic safety grant program, provides funding to help defray administrative costs to states with all-offender ignition interlock laws. Nine states have passed all-offender ignition interlock laws since the grant funds became available.
However, the legislation now being considered by the Commerce Committee would expand the criteria for the grant program to include the 24/7 sobriety program. Senator Booker’s amendment to S. 1732 would remove the 24/7 sobriety program as a qualifying criterion, restoring the original purpose of the grant funding.
MADD is concerned by the proposed expansion, and strongly believes the incentive grants should be offered only to those states that enact life-saving ignition interlock laws.
“Twenty-five states require ignition interlocks for first-time drunk driving offenders, and the life-saving results are unprecedented in traffic safety,” Sheehey-Church said. “If every state could experience the 40 percent decrease in drunk driving fatalities that we have seen in Arizona and Oregon, we would be well on our way to a nation of No More Victims.”
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every ten minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD
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