MADD releases annual report

Public Safety. Check out what MADD says New Jersey is doing in the fight against driving under the influence.

NJ /
26 Dec 2019 | 08:11

Angry by the large numbers of deaths, injuries and accidents caused by drunk or drugged drivers? Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) New Jersey wants you to be part of the solution by getting involved with MADD. The organization envisions a future "without victims" of drunk or drugged driving. On Monday, Dec. 23, 2019 MADD released its annual state-by-state report on the fight against driving under the influence.

Founded in 1980, the nonprofit states that it has helped save nearly 330,000 lives since its inception.The organization also states that among the solutions and tools to end drunk or drugged driving are; education, awareness, high visibility law enforcement, effective legislation, driving under the influence campaigns, youth education, funding, driver alcohol detection systems, and ignition interlock devices.

Thirty years ago it would have seemed impossible that inflatable bags of air could protect motorists during crashes. Yet today cars even park themselves, have anti-theft devices, and eventually cars can determine if a driver is too drunk to be behind the wheel.

The holiday season may be hard for those who experienced loss of a loved one due to drunk or drugged driving during the holidays or any time of year. Victim advocates are available 24-hours per day to make it a little easier. If you are in need of victim services, call the 24-hour Help Line at 877-MADD-HELP or visit the website to chat.

At the time that MADD was launched, there were about 13,000 drunk or drugged driving deaths per year in the US. But with volunteers throughout the nation that number has been cut to about 10,000 lives lost per year. The MADD annual report aims to provide guidance to achieving the goal of "no more victims."

How is New Jersey doing, specifically? NJ does have an all-offender interlock law and safety checkpoints in place, but does not have automatic license revocation (ALR). It rated 2.0 in 2018 and has increased to 3.0 this year, due to the adddition of child endangerment measures and "no refusal." New York has a 3.5 rating.

After more than 11 years of efforts by MADD, New Jersey has become the 34th state to enact an "all-offender interlock" in 2019. MADD states that ignition interlocks are the "best proven countermeasure available to stop drunk driving today." At this point 34 states require it for all drunk driving offenders. MADD states that states that "Have passed all-offender ignition interlock laws, have experiencesd significant reductions in drunk driving deaths."

Ways in which New Jersey could improve, according to MADD? Enact automatic license revocation, and enact law making child endangerment a felony.

Memorial giving can be done through the web site: https://www.madd.org/donate-now/make-honormemorial-gift-today/ https://www.madd.org/get-involved/. For more information or to volunteer for MADD, visit www.madd.org.