MADD Rates Every State’s Drunk Driving Laws

 CONTACT: Becky Iannotta
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MADD Rates Every State’s Drunk Driving Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 24, 2018) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) rates every state’s drunk driving laws and highlights drunk driving countermeasures related to MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving in a report released today. The report explains MADD’s vision to literally eliminate drunk driving in America. 

The Campaign report rates state laws in five categories:

  • Conducting sobriety checkpoints
  • Ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders with a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and above
  • Administratively revoking driving privileges upon arrest for drunk driving
  • Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
  • Adopting penalties and expediting warrants for suspected drunk drivers who refuse an alcohol test

New to the campaign, MADD expanded our advocacy to include support for fully autonomous vehicles. MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church provided key testimony in June 2017 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to express MADD’s support for federal oversight of safe development and testing. MADD also joined the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets as a show of support for the promise autonomous technology holds for eliminating drunk driving.

MADD is working with automakers, the technology industry and traffic safety partners to help this promise reach reality. MADD welcomes Velodyne LiDAR as a sponsoring partner of this year’s Campaign.

“Velodyne shares MADD’s goal of reducing drunk driving deaths to zero. Our technology makes that possible,” said Kathleen Roy, Advocacy Consultant for Velodyne LiDAR of San Jose, Calif. “Together we are developing the full potential of autonomous vehicles to get you and your loved ones home safely.”

To help states pass the most effective drunk driving laws, MADD’s rating breaks the five categories down into two subcategories, allowing half-star ratings for states that need to improve their existing laws. For example, all states that conduct sobriety checkpoints receive a half-star, but those that conduct them at least once a month receive a full star.

“MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, now entering its 12th year, has helped reduce drunk driving deaths by 23.5 percent, but we still have so much more work to do,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “This Campaign is MADD’s blueprint for guiding the nation to a day when these tragedies no longer tear families apart. MADD will continue to work with all states to help them protect their communities from this violent, 100 percent preventable crime.”

The five highest-ranked states received a 4.5. They are:

  • Arizona
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • West Virginia

Montana scored the lowest with just a half-star. Michigan scored the second lowest with just 1 star out of 5. The five other lowest-ranked states scored a 1.5 out of 5. They are:

  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, launched in 2006, is based on four mission prongs: Support for high-visibility law enforcement such as sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, advanced vehicle technology such as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) and autonomous vehicles, and public support for these initiatives.

Over the past year, MADD’s Campaign efforts have helped pass and strengthen ignition interlock laws in Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Oregon. MADD’s tireless advocacy successfully defended attempts to weaken current interlock laws in: Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, Virginia, Georgia and Connecticut. MADD also defended an administrative license revocation law in West Virginia. Unfortunately MADD was unable to stop the defunding of sobriety checkpoints in Missouri. MADD’s top legislative priority in Missouri this year is to bring back sobriety checkpoints and retain this lifesaving law enforcement tool in other states such as New Hampshire.

MADD’s Report to the Nation is available at MADD is the sole author of the report, which is based on 38 years of experience working to pass lifesaving legislation, along with data from various respected government, research and public safety organization sources. For more information about MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, visit

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 350,000 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 or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

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