MADD wants to eliminate drunk drivers through interlock system
In November 2006, heading into the busy Thanksgiving season, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) launched a four-point campaign to help get drunk drivers off the road. One of the four points, to require first-time offenders to install a breathalyzer ignition interlock system in their cars, is proving to be controversial.
The system forces the driver to blow into a tube attached to the ignition. If the system detects alcohol, it disables the car so that the drunk driver cannot use it. In theory, this will reduce some of the 13,000 deaths caused by drunk driving every year in this country.
â€śThe real possibility of eliminating drunk driving in this country is a powerful, even audacious, idea,â€ť said Glynn Birch, national president of MADD, in a press release. â€śUsing technology, tougher enforcement, stronger laws and grassroots mobilization, the goal of eliminating a primary public health threat that has plagued the United States is within our reach.â€ť
The system has been around for a while. New Mexico implemented the plan for first-time offenders last year â€“ the only state yet to do so. In Canada, the system has been in place since 1991. But despite the obvious advantages, not everyone is convinced. Some say that first-time offenders should not have to be subjected to such harsh â€“ and expensive â€“ punishment. The New Mexico experience has shown holes in the program as well. Only about half of those ordered to have the breathalyzer system installed have done so, meaning that many drivers in that state are driving with a suspended license, or lied about owning a car.
In New Mexico, average rental cost of the ignition interlock system is $75 per month, plus $75 for installation.
MADD points out that â€śfirst-time offendersâ€ť were driving drunk on average about 88 times before finally getting caught, so the punishment is not so harsh as critics make it out to be. Their goal is to get all drunk drivers off the road using any method available so that truly innocent victims are not killed or injured by their irresponsibility.
In Canada, the system was introduced as an alternative to losing their license. Install the system and get your license back, or simply donâ€™t drive. This method eliminated the perception of drunk drivers being â€śforcedâ€ť to install the system, but rather did it as a choice to regain the privilege of driving.
Unfortunately, despite the efforts MADD and other organizations, drunk drivers are still a deadly hazard on our roads. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused be a drunk driver, contact a personal injury attorney at Jim S. Adler & Associates for a free case review. We may be able to get you compensation to cover your medical bills, lost work, and mental anguish. Jim S. Adler & Associates will fight to make sure your rights are protected. Call us directly at 1-800-505-1414, or fill out our online form to start your drunk driver accident free case review.
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