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  • November 18, 2016
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MADD Rates Every State’s Drunk Driving Laws

Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving Marks 10th Year


Contact Information

Becky Iannotta

[email protected]


WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 18, 2016) —Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released its 2016 Report to the Nation, an overview of legislative accomplishments that includes a rating for every state’s drunk driving reform efforts.

This annual report measures the progress of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, now in its 10th year.

States are awarded stars in the 5-star rating for adopting drunk driving laws and/or implementing proven countermeasures that include:

  • Conducting sobriety checkpoints
  • Ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders
  • Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
  • Participating in “no-refusal” activities for those suspected of drunk driving
  • Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk driving offenders

As a new feature to help states pass the most effective drunk driving laws, this year’s five categories each have two subcategories, allowing for 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.

“Ten years ago, MADD launched our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving because we truly believe we have a blueprint for our nation to end this violent crime,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “By joining with our federal and state legislative partners and representing the one million victims we have served, MADD has helped pass laws that will lead us to a nation of No More Victims. We’ve made great progress, but with more than 10,000 lives lost to drunk driving in 2015 — and concerns that the numbers are even higher in 2016 — we still have a lot of work to do.”

On Thursday night, MADD celebrated the progress made over the last 10 years with dedicated volunteers, industry and government partners, including Administrator Mark Rosekind of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Senator Tom Udall.

“As we approach the holiday season — consistently one of the deadliest times for drunk driving crashes — I am honored to join with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to highlight the 10th anniversary of their Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which has played a key role in the fight to protect families from this preventable tragedy,” said Senator Udall. “Thanks to the incredible efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there are fewer drunk drivers on the road — but our fight is far from over. I have been proud to champion tough measures to end drunk driving as New Mexico’s Attorney General and in Congress, including partnering closely with MADD to enact meaningful and impactful legislation to keep our roads safe. Looking forward, we must come together and strengthen our resolve to finally put an end to fatalities caused by drinking and driving.”

The report comes just as our nation begins six weeks of holiday celebrations that mark a deadly period of drunk driving crashes. In 2015, 973 people were killed in drunk driving crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day — nearly 10 percent of all drunk driving crashes for the year. On the day before and day of Thanksgiving and Christmas, 33 to 39 percent of all traffic fatalities were caused by drunk driving.

“Releasing this report just before we begin the holiday season serves as a reminder that every state can do more to eliminate the tragedies caused by drunk driving, and every individual can do his or her part by always planning for a non-drinking driver to get them home safely,” said Sheehey-Church.

MADD’s Report to the Nation is available at madd.org/2016campaignreport. MADD is the sole author of the report, which is based on 36 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 www.madd.org/campaign.

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 helped to change American culture when it started popularizing the concept of the “designated driver” in 1986 through its related red ribbon awareness campaign Tie One On For Safety® now in its 30th year. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® is marking its 10th anniversary and reducing drunk driving fatalities by 25 percent since its launch. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, providing a service every four minutes through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Power of Parents® and Power of Youth® programs reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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