February 2, 2015

MADD Rates States on DUI Prevention

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has recently released a report rating all 50 states for their efforts to combat drunk driving.

MADD has ranked states based on a five-star system where states receive a star for particular measures employed by that state to fight drunk driving. The countermeasures that state can receive a star for include ignition interlock laws, sobriety checkpoints, license revocation laws, child endangerment laws, and no-refusal laws.

So how does California rank?

According to the report, California has been given four out of five stars.

“California has made progress toward ending drunk driving, but more action is needed. On July 1, 2010, a pilot program went into effect, requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in four counties covering 13 million people. The pilot program should be expanded statewide, as other counties in the state are missing opportunities to protect people from drunk drivers. The state should also look at improving its child endangerment law,” said MADD’s website.

MADD’s ratings can be found here.

The report comes from MADD’s “Campaign To Eliminate Drunk Driving,”a project that began in 2006 and involves working the state legislators and law enforcement agencies to create laws to fight drunk driving.

Aside from being rather arbitrary, there are issues with each and every countermeasure for which a state can receive a star. You can read other posts about the specific reasons for why I take issue with some of the countermeasures. They’re too many to list here.

It’s not that I’m against ending drunk driving. However, what’s more important is that we make sure that countermeasures actually work without foregoing the individual liberties given to us by the Constitution.


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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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