MADD Applauds New Ignition Interlock Legislation

Florida Would Join 28 States with Ignition Interlock Law for All Drunk Drivers

TALLAHASSEE (February 24, 2017) — This week, Representative Cord Byrd introduced HB 949 to require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders in Florida, a measure that will prevent first offenders from becoming repeat offenders and save lives in the in Sunshine State.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) applauds Representative Byrd for HB 949, and also Senator David Simmons, who plans to amend SB 918 to also require ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers.

“MADD thanks Representative Byrd and Senator Simmons for their commitment to preventing drunk driving in Florida,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “We look forward to making Florida the 29th state with this lifesaving law.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 797 people died in drunk driving crashes in Florida in 2015 — 103 more than in 2014. According to NHTSA, Florida had the largest increase in traffic fatalities caused by drunk driving from 2014 to 2015.

Currently, Florida requires ignition interlocks for repeat offenders. MADD’s top legislative priority is to help all 50 states pass strong laws that include ignition interlocks after the first offense.

“We know that ignition interlocks save lives by taking away the dangerous, and all too often deadly, choice to drive while impaired by alcohol. They teach sober driving while protecting the public.” Sheehey-Church said. “The safety and rehabilitative benefits have been proven by more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies.”

Ignition Interlock Information:  Ignition interlocks are effective in reducing repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent. (CDC)  First time offenders have driven drunk at least 80 times before they are arrested. (CDC)  An ignition interlock is more effective than license suspension alone, as 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.  All-offender interlock laws save lives reducing drunk driving deaths by 7, 12 and 15 percent. (McGinty, 2017. IIHS, 2012. Kaufmann, 2016.)

 For more information visit Ignition Interlocks Laws in the USA: How states implement ignition interlock laws (MADD)


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 340,000 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.