Representative Tom Rice and Senator Donzella James Recognized for Authoring DUI Reform Legislation
Atlanta, GA —Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) today announced its “2013 Legislative Champions” and recognized Representative Tom Rice and Senator Donzella James for their leadership within the Georgia General Assembly to stop drunk driving.
“MADD thanks Chairman Rice and Senator James for authoring DUI reform measures. MADD appreciates their tireless work and commitment to advancing MADD’s mission in Georgia by promoting effective DUI countermeasures like ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.
In 2013, Senator Donzella James for introducing SB 15 and SB 18 legislation requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers and increasing penalties for driving drunk with a child passenger in a vehicle. Representative Tom Rice authored HB 671 requiring ignition interlocks for first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or greater.
“I am thankful for the recognition from MADD, said Representative Tom Rice. “I am committed to supporting a more effective method for curbing “driving under the influence” violations. I do believe the change to the GA code outlined in HB 671 is a step in that direction.”
I would like to thank Mothers Against Drunk Driving for this great honor,” said Senator James. “Although we cannot bring back our children we have lost, MADD does a so many great things to ensure that other families don’t have to go through this unimaginable tragedy. I look forward to continue the partnership with MADD as they advance the work of this great cause.
A cornerstone of MADD’s advocacy efforts across the Nation originates from the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® that was launched in 2006. A key component of the Campaign calls for enacting legislation like SB 15 and HB 671.
Prior to the Campaign, only one state, New Mexico, required ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Today, 20 states require or highly incentivize the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Currently, ignition interlocks are required for all repeat offenders in Georgia.
“MADD applauds and is grateful to these lawmakers for authoring legislation improving Georgia’s drunk driving law. MADD looks forward to advocating for these measures requiring ignition interlocks for more convicted drunk drivers and improving Georgia’s DUI child endangerment law,” added MADD Georgia Executive Director Barry Martin.
An interlock is more effective than license suspension alone, as 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license. Ignition interlocks are effective in reducing repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit madd.org/interlock.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.