On June 29th, Congress approved a bi-annual transportation bill that provides road and transit financing across the nation. President Obama signed it into law on July 6th. The bill, named MAP-21, or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, provides new incentives to states that develop programs that are aimed at deterring drunken driving on local roads and highways. There is also language in the bill that calls for the implementation of ignition interlocks that prevent a vehicle from starting if a driver fails a breathalyzer test.
States will be encouraged to mandate ignition interlocks for all drunk-driving offenders. According to MADD, such laws have reduced alcohol-related driving fatalities by more than half in Arizona and Oregon.
“MAP-21 is an historic opportunity to advance highway safety because we now have Congressional approval on a blueprint for our nation to eliminate drunk driving,” Jan Withers, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said in an e-mail statement.