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MADD Rates Each State On Efforts To Prevent And Punish Drunk Driving

In November 2006, MADD launched their Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.  For the fifth anniversary of the Campaign, they have released a national report which rates each state on its progress toward eliminating drunk driving.

On average, the nation received three stars (out of 5).  New York is a four star state.

Stars are awarded as follows:

  1. Requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers
  2. Conducting sobriety checkpoints
  3. Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
  4. Participating in “no-refusal” activities for those suspected of drunk driving
  5. Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk driving offenders

New York did not receive a fifth star in relation to the “no-refusal” point.  I imagine just about every state has some law or method to address those who refuse to immediately submit to a BAC test because it’s necessary to prevent people from getting away with DWI just by saying no to a field test.  In New York Section 1194 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law provides for the temporary suspension (pending a hearing on the matter) and subsequent revocation (if the hearing shows you did indeed refuse) of a license or operating privilege when a person refuses to submit to a chemical test.  MADD is actually talking about “no refusal activities” like the no refusal weekends some states have set up.  These are enforcement periods where checkpoints are set up and people are asked to submit to a test and if they refuse judges are on call all weekent to issue warrants authorizing the police to draw blood on the spot.  The intent here is to publicize the fact that refusal will not be an option.

Overall, NY did well with it’s four stars according to this report and is “working diligently to stop drunk driving.”

Scott Feifer