BOSTON— Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) joined Senator Jim Timilty in a meeting with Massachusetts legislators to highlight the life-saving results of requiring ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders.
According to a recent MADD report, ignition interlocks have prevented drunk drivers from starting their vehicles 37,983 times since Massachusetts began requiring the devices for repeat offenders in 2006.
MADD believes these small, in-car breathalyzers should be required for all offenders with an illegal .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and above. The devices are far safer than license suspension alone, which is often ignored. Offenders who use the devices can drive without restrictions provided they are sober. Twenty-five states have all-offender ignition interlock laws.
“Every time a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, the lives of our children, parents, brothers, sisters and dear friends are in danger,” said Mary Kate DePamphilis, state program manager for MADD Massachusetts. “This technology saves lives by blocking drunk drivers from starting their cars, and we know that repeat offenders have attempted to drive drunk again nearly 38,000 times in Massachusetts. Imagine how many more drunk driving attempts could be stopped if every offender used one of these devices.”
Senator Timilty, a 2015 MADD Legislator of the Year, has authored S 1895 to require ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers in Massachusetts.
“I’m happy to partner with MADD on this important measure that has been proven to prevent repeat drunk driving offenses” said Senator Timilty (D- Walpole). “Under the current hardship license law we are simultaneously making a criminal out of someone running an errand outside of their work hours and doing nothing to physically prevent someone from getting behind the wheel intoxicated. I think this study proves that there exists a better way for the Commonwealth.”
The hearing room held the attendance of legislators, staff, stakeholders and supporters, including Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation, Senator Thomas McGee, and BJ Williams, Manager of Prevention Programs for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.