MADD 2018 Report Rates States on Drunk Driving Laws

madd-2018-reportOn the heels of a surprising and attention-getting report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – which recommended lowering the national blood alcohol limit, among other changes – and another one from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, comes the 2018 report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) which is intended to let the country know how it is doing in the fight against drunk driving. The MADD 2018 report rates every state on a set of criteria it has determined is vital to reducing alcohol-related road deaths.

The Criteria

  • Ignition interlocks. MADD has long been a proponent of ignition interlocks – devices which prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The organization believes the devices should be required for all convicted drunk drivers, including first offenders. Currently 30 states have such a requirement. MADD also stumps for compliance-based removal – the devices should only be taken off a vehicle once a set number of months have passed with no failed test.
  • Sobriety checkpoints. MADD rates states according to whether they conduct sobriety checkpoints, and how often. This topic is controversial, as some states’ constitution prohibits checkpoints, but those that permit it see a downturn in alcohol-related collisions.
  • Automatic license revocation (ALR). When a person is arrested for drunk driving, his or her license should be automatically revoked. This can be done administratively – without trial – as a condition of having a license in the first place. MADD also wants those arrested to have interlocks as well.
  • Child endangerment. Having a minor in a vehicle while impaired should be a misdemeanor at least, and a felony if possible.
  • No refusal. MADD wants states to expedite warrants for alcohol tests after a driver arrested for DUI refuses a sobriety test. The organization also wants test refusal to be criminalized, or to mandate an interlock immediately for a test refusal. Currently 34 states have such laws.

Heroes – 5 States on Top of Things

Arizona, Nevada, West Virginia, Mississippi and Maryland score the highest, with 4.5 out of a possible 5 (9 out of 10 boxes checked).

Hall of Shame

Montana gets an .05 out of 5. Apart from making child endangerment a misdemeanor, the state has not done very much to take drunk drivers off the roads.

How is Your State Doing?

Look up your state and find out what legislative action is still needed to make your roads safer. All of the states – heroes included – have some work to do, and quite a few states are lagging behind in a number of areas.

Once you check out your state’s numbers in the MADD 2018 report, do the right thing. Contact MADD in your state and find out how you can help press for better traffic legislation to save lives by taking impaired drivers off American roads.