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MADD: Drunk driving fatalities down by over 30% since Ignition Interlock Law passed in Kansas

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FROM MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING


Drunk Driving Fatalities Reduced by Over Thirty Percent Since IgnitionInterlock Law Passed

MADD urges Kansas lawmakers to eliminate the 2015 sunset clause to lifesaving law

Topeka, Kansas Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is pleased to share recent statistics from the Kansas Department of Transportation that show alcohol-related fatalities have dropped significantly since the state's all-offender ignition interlock law went into effect in July 2011.

Kansas is among 20 states that have passed all-offender ignition interlock legislation.  Since the passage of its all-offender interlock law, Kansas has seen a reduction in the number of drunk driving deaths by over 30 percent(138 in 2010 to 94 in 2012). 

"Our progress in the fight to eliminate drunk driving in Kansas is significant," said Chris Mann, MADD Kansas Advisory Board Chair.  "ThroughMADD's work with lawmakers and law enforcement, we are making Kansas roads safer for everyone.  MADD urges lawmakers to eliminate the sunset clause in this lifesaving law."

In 2011, Senate Bill 6 was enacted including the provision requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.  If the legislature does not act to remove the sunset clause, beginning July 1, 2015 ignition interlocks will no longer be required for all offenders.  Kansas is one of only three states with a drunk driving law containing a sunset clause(California's four county all-offender ignition interlock pilot program ends in2015 and Michigan's .08 BAC per se law in 2018).

Throughout the nation, all-offender interlock laws have proven to be instrumental in cutting the number of drunk driving crashes, injuries and fatalities. Research indicates that requiring an ignition interlock for all drunk driving offenders reduces repeat offenses by two-thirds and significantly cuts the number of drunk driving deaths.  The law requires a DUI offender to install an ignition interlock, or in-car breathalyzer device. The driver must blow into the device to prove he/she is sober before the car will start.

"MADD continues to lobby for tougher drunk driving legislation in the hope of one day ending this violent crime," said Jan Withers, MADD NationalPresident. "Kansas is an excellent example of how high-visibility law enforcement activities, coupled with laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, are saving lives.  Lawmakers must allow more lives to be saved by taking action in 2014 to eliminate the sunset clause of this lifesaving interlock law."

For more information about ignition interlocks, please visit madd.org/interlock

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