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MADD Announces 2019 Legislators of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recognized state leaders who played a major role in MADD’s mission to eliminate drunk driving, which is still the leading killer on U.S. roads.

In all, MADD honored 45 state lawmakers, three governors and one lieutenant governor for their commitment to saving lives. These MADD champions represent 20 states, including seven from Wisconsin, five from Maryland and Texas, four from New York and New Jersey, three from Florida and Massachusetts, two from Alabama, California, Kentucky, Oklahoma and South Carolina and one from Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.

“MADD is so grateful to our elected leaders who share our passion for eliminating the often deadly and always preventable crime of drunk driving,” said MADD National President Helen Witty, whose 16-year-old daughter, Helen Marie, was killed by a drunk and drugged teen driver while rollerblading on a bike path just blocks from the family’s Miami home in 2000. “Drunk driving deaths have risen 9 percent since 2014. Meanwhile, arrests are down. We rely on our governors and legislators to introduce, champion, pass and prioritize enforcement of laws that will save lives and help reverse this public safety crisis.”

Many of the 2019 Legislators of the Year played a major role in MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which was launched in 2006. A key component of the Campaign calls for all-offender interlock laws, which require the use of an ignition interlock for any convicted drunk driver who seeks driving privileges during a license suspension. Prior to the Campaign, only one state — New Mexico — had an all-offender interlock law. This year, Kentucky and New Jersey passed all-offender laws, bringing the total number of states to 34.

Other components of MADD’s Campaign include supporting high-visibility law enforcement, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, advocating for the development of advanced alcohol detection technology in all new vehicles and taking personal responsibility by always planning ahead for a non-drinking driver when plans include alcohol.

This year marks the first time MADD has endorsed state legislation in support of a .05 BAC limit, and MADD is proud to recognize six lawmakers in five states for their work to lower the BAC threshold.

Utah so far is the only state to successfully pass a .05 law, which, if passed nationwide, could save 1,800 lives each year.

2019 MADD Legislators of the Year:


Representative Arnold Mooney

Senator Jim McClendon


Senator Jerry Hill

Assemblywoman Autumn Burke


Senator Dennis Baxley

Representative Scott Plakon

Representative Brad Drake


Representative Chuck Efstration


Representative Ryan Kerby


Senator Whitney Westerfield

Representative Richard Heath


Governor Larry Hogan

Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary

Senator Will Smith

Senator Ben Kramer

Delegate Erek Barron


Governor Charlie Baker

Senator Bruce Tarr

Representative Timothy Whelan


Representative Abullah Hammoud

New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy

Senator Nicholas Scutari

Senator Joseph Lagana

Assemblywoman Joann Downey

New Mexico

Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto

New York

Senator Monica Martinez

Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz

Senator John Liu


Senator Kim David

Representative Chris Kannady


Senate President Peter Courtney

South Carolina

Senator Brad Hutto

Representative Eddie Tallon

South Dakota

Representative Tim Goodwin


Senator José Menéndez

Representative Andrew Murr

Representative James White

Representative Reggie Smith

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick


Representative Norm Thurston


Delegate Joe Lindsey


Senator Chris Larson

Representative Christine Sinicki

Senator André Jacque

Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt

Senator Alberta Darling

Representative Jim Ott

Senator Van Wanggaard

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 380,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Contact: Becky Iannotta, 202.600.2032, [email protected]

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