MADD Thanks Rep. Jordan For Authoring Legislation Requiring Interlocks for All Convicted Drunk Drivers
This past session, Rep. Jordan authored legislation requiring all convicted drunk drivers to have an Interlock device in their vehicles. A driver must breathe into the an Interlock device before the car can be started. If alcohol is detected the device prevents the car from starting.
This is proven lifesaving technology – and now is required for all those convicted of drunk driving.
Here’s the full text of the letter. You can also download a copy with the research.
June 10, 2014
The Honorable Jonathan C. Jordan
NC House of Representatives
300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 420
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
Thank you for authoring legislation requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers
Dear Representative Jordan,
One life lost to a drunk driver is one to many. My daughter was killed in a drunk driving crash and for over 20 years I have advocated for tougher laws to protect the innocent. Today, on behalf of all the drunk driving victims and as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) National President, I am writing to thank you for authoring HB 536 requiring the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in North Carolina.
Similar legislation has been passed in 23 states and these states have recognized a significant reduction in drunk driving deaths.
Drunk driving is a violent crime. And, drunk deaths are 100 percent preventable. Yet in 2012, 402 people in North Carolina were killed in crashes caused by a drunk driver—representing 31 percent of all traffic fatalities. In addition to the extraordinary emotional burden for victims, drunk driving deaths are an unnecessary economic hardship for North Carolina, costing the state and taxpayers $1.96 billion in 2012.
I also want to share with you some interesting research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This research was instrumental in framing MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and
advancing our number one legislative priority—ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.
Research has found that (1) requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers saves lives and is effective in reducing drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent; (2) license suspension alone is no longer a practical way to deal with drunk drivers, as 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive even with a suspended driver’s license; and (3) first-time convicted DUI offender is not a first time drunk driver but rather has driven drunk at least 80 times prior to being arrested.
Ignition Interlocks for convicted drunk drivers represents a sound approach to stopping drunk driving. Ignition interlocks allow convicted drunk drivers to use an interlock to continue driving following a drunk driving arrest, and in a way that will protect families and North Carolina residents. An ignition interlock teaches sober driving and stops a convicted DUI offender from drinking and driving. License suspension and driving restrictions alone do not accomplish this.
As a result of the federal highway bill, MAP-21, North Carolina could qualify for approximately $573,000 each year if lawmakers enact an all-offender interlock law. This money would offset any costs to the
state in implementing a statewide all-offender interlock law.
Interlocks are proven to save lives and protect the public, while giving drunk drivers the opportunity to continue driving. MADD thanks you for authoring HB 536 requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact MADD North Carolina Executive Director LaRonda Scott at email@example.com or 919-787-6599 ext.3753. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.
MADD National President