MADD pushes for legislation

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) lawmakers to approve legislation to require ignition interlock devices on the vehicles in an effort to stop repeat drunk driving offenses. The bill, HB 381, is scheduled for a February 5th committee hearing.

"MADD supports HB 381 as it will protect the residents of Alabama from drunk drivers," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "Ignition interlocks are a key component of MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and an effective countermeasure in our fight against drunk driving."

Ignition interlocks are installed on vehicle dashboards. The driver must exhale into the device which determines the blood alcohol level before the motor can start. There are currently 20 states that have similar all offender ignition interlock laws in place. For example, in New Mexico, Oregon, and Arizona, where drunk driving deaths have been reduced by an average of 40 percent.

Since 2011, ignition interlocks have been required for all repeat and first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol level of .15 or greater. However, the law has not been implemented and drunk driving continues to be a problem in Alabama. Over 250 lives were lost due to drunk driving, which is 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012.