Last month, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Since November 2006, much progress has been made nationwide to spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving accidents in Asheville, and elsewhere in the country.
Hickory drunk driving accident lawyers know that the holidays bring a greater risk for drivers to get behind the wheel after having a few too many drinks. We hope that all motorists in North Carolina make smart choices when it comes to being sober before getting behind the wheel.
In a recent press release, MADD announced its Report to the Nation, which is a state-by-state comparison of how each one ranks in its efforts to eliminate drunk driving. Overall, the nation received a three-star rating out of five categories, indicating that advocates feel there is still much work to be done to achieve a zero-tolerance goal nationwide.
States were rated on efforts to eliminate drunk driving in the following categories related to passing legislation or enforcement of drunk-driving laws:
Ignition Interlocks: a state has adopted a law that requires all convicted drunk drivers to have this breathalyzer device installed in their vehicle. The driver must blow into the device in order for the engine to start.
Sobriety Checkpoints: locations are set up statewide during holiday or weekend periods to catch potential drunk drivers.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR): a drunk driver has his or her license suspended or revoked for a period of time by enforcing ALR statewide.
Child Endangerment: any intoxicated driver pulled over for driving under the influence with young children in the vehicle will face a stiffer penalty.
No-Refusal: enforcement of no-refusal activities occurs when a driver doesn’t cooperate after being suspected of drunk driving.
Only five states received a five-star rating, with North Carolina being rated with three out of five stars. A star was issued for the enforcement of sobriety checkpoints, ALR and child endangerment. Areas that still need improvement in North Carolina are ignition interlocks and “no refusal”. Legislation for interlock devices for first-time offenders testing .15 or over were passed in 2007 but North Carolina still needs to take action and pass the law to include all convicted offenders. There is also a need to address “no refusal” in North Carolina or else face consequences when a driver is suspected to have been drinking.
According to recent data provided by Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, the United States spends roughly $132 billion a year related to drunk-driving costs. A little more than $71 billion is spent on quality-of-life losses while $61 billion is spent on monetary costs. Only a small percentage of these costs are paid by federal, state and local governments or employers.
We encourage all motorists to make smart choices in order to avoid a drunk-driving accident this holiday season and beyond in North Carolina or elsewhere.
If you or someone you love has been injured, or someone has died, in a drunk-driving accident in North or South Carolina, contact the car accident attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. We offer free initial consultations to victims and their families. Call 1-800-887-1965 to speak to an attorney about your case today.
More Blog Entries:
Underage Drinking Increases Risk for Drunk Driving Accidents in Asheville, Elsewhere, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 21, 2011.