BOSTON — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has joined eight other organizations in supporting SB 1895 to require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in Massachusetts.
In a letter delivered to Senate leadership on Tuesday, MADD, AAA, Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, American Trauma Society, State Police Association of Massachusetts, Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association called on the Massachusetts General Court to pass SB 1895 this year.
“Senate Bill 1895 is a common sense proposal that will protect citizens from the deaths and injuries caused by repeat drunk drivers,” the letter states. “The time for action is now. Studies show that as many as 75% of drunk drivers continue to drive after their license is suspended. The Commonwealth’s current law does nothing to stop this.”
Currently, Massachusetts requires ignition interlocks for repeat offenders and makes hardship licenses available during the suspension period. SB 1895 would require all drunk driving offenders to use an ignition interlock if they seek driving privileges during a license suspension period.
SB 1895, authored by Senator James Timilty, has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
Twenty-seven states have similar laws, including New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Maryland.
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. Across the nation, ignition interlocks have prevented more than 1.7 million attempts to drive with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.