Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is celebrating its 5th anniversary of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. In celebration, MADD has released a new report of state rankings. This report ranks each state on its effort towards reducing drunk driving accidents, The nation, as a whole, received a three-star rating on a five-star scale. Also on this report are updated numbers illustrating the costs of these accidents — more than $130 billion a year.
“The ratings earned by each state show that there is still much work to be done,” said Jan Withers, MADD National President.
Our Chicago injury attorneys and MADD understand that drunk driving accidents increase significantly during the holiday season. This is an excellent time to push this type of campaign and to raise awareness about the dangers on our roadways through the remainder of the year. We would also like to congratulate Illinois for being one of the states that received a five-staring rating. Only five states received five-star ratings, including Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and Arizona, too. These rankings were determined by each state’s use of ignition interlock devices, sobriety checkpoints, drunk driving penalties, “no-refusal” activities and license revocation sentences.
Among the states that received one-star ratings were South Dakota, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Montana. These ratings were based on drunk-driving prevention programs and not on accident numbers.
Every year, MADD asks states to consider enacting tougher drunk driving laws and countermeasures that have been proven to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that drunk driving is still the deadliest epidemic on our country’s roadways. Although we’ve all made significant strides in the last 30 years to help prevent these accident, we’re still experiencing far too many each year.
Drunk driving accidents cost more than $130 billion every year:
-More than $60 billion in monetary costs.
-More than $70 billion in quality-of-life losses.
-The federal covered nearly $5 billion.
-State government covered more than $3 billion.
-Employers covered nearly $11 billion, which includes the near $4 million that were work-related car accidents and roughly $7 billion in off-the-job accidents involving employees and benefit-eligible dependents.
Although Illinois was recognized in this report with five stars, the large decrease in drunk driving accident-related deaths isn’t enough considering the state has such a high fatality rate to begin with. The report did however point out that Illinois’ high-visibility enforcement efforts and the ignition-interlock law helped the state to achieve such a large decrease. We’re not there yet, though.
MADD President Withers adds that there is no debate on the effectiveness of ignition interlocks for those who have been convicted of drunk driving. The proof is in the numbers. He believes that all states should mandate the devices as part of a sentence for a DUI conviction. This measure coupled with high-visibility law enforcement efforts and the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program can help the entire nation to significantly reduce the number of these preventable accidents.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
State Receives Recognition for Combating Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 7, 2011
Local Celebs Participate in Demonstration to Raise Awareness of Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 13, 2011