SB 3 provides for blood alcohol tests for drunk drivers.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) today announced its “2013 Legislative Champions” and recognized Representative Jonathan Jordan, Representative Darren Jackson, Representative John Faircloth, Senator Bill Rabon, Senator Jim Davis, and Senator Tom Apodaca for their leadership within the North Carolina Legislature to stop drunk driving.
“MADD thanks these lawmakers for their dedication and commitment to advancing MADD’s mission in North Carolina. MADD appreciates their tireless efforts to improving North Carolina’s DWI law and to working to save lives,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.
In 2013, Representatives Jordan, Jackson, and Faircloth were primary sponsors of H 536 that required ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Senator Bill Rabon authored a similar measure with S 434.
"We can't prevent every road fatality, but every driving while impaired fatality is 100 percent preventable. Mandatory interlocks for all offenders is a policy worth continuing to fight for,” said Representative Jackson. “We can prevent people from becoming repeat offenders. We can prevent someone from being able to start their car if they have been drinking. We can make a difference," continued Jackson.
“It is an honor to be recognized by MADD – an organization I respect for its mission and commitment to stopping drunk driving. I’ll continue working alongside fellow legislators to help eliminate needless drunk driving tragedies and improve highway safety in North Carolina,” said Senator Rabon.
“MADD applauds Representatives Faircloth, Jordan, Jackson and Senator Rabon for their leadership in reforming North Carolina ignition interlock law,” said MADD North Carolina Executive Director LaRonda Scott.
As part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving ® that was launched in 2006, MADD advocates for laws requiring for all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock for at least six months. Prior to the Campaign, only one state (New Mexico), required ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Today, 20 states require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. North Carolina requires these devices for all repeat, refusals and first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or greater.
Also in 2013, Senators Jim Davis and Tom Apodaca authored SB 3 which provides for all hospitals to test for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and provides for 19 new toxicology positions. For years, the law enforcement community, hand-inhand with MADD Western North Carolina, has campaigned for a fullservice crime lab in the area. Up to 48percent of DWI cases involving blood testing have been dismissed annually, due to the 2009 Melendez vs. Diaz ruling, along with inadequate resources at the state lab.
“It is both satisfying and an honor to have made a difference in drafting legislation to help”, said Senator Davis. “The real credit goes to those in the field who brought the issue to my attention and provided a practical remedy. I am proud to be associated with such remarkable public servants!"
“How fortunate we are in Western NC to have legislators who keep a close watch on public safety issues, listen to the needs and concerns of law enforcement officers and prosecutors and who show extraordinary compassion to crime victims,” said MADD Western North Carolina Chapter leader Ellen Pitt.
For details on ignition interlocks, please visit www.madd.org/interlock. For details on ignition interlocks, please visit www.madd.org/interlock. For information on MADD North Carolina, please visit http://www.madd.org/local-offices/nc/.
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. 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.