Montana has come out bottom in a report of every U.S. state’s drunk driving laws published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
“Report to the Nation” rates state laws in five categories:
- Conducting sobriety checkpoints
- Ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders with a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and above
- Administratively revoking driving privileges upon arrest for drunk driving
- Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
- Adopting penalties and expediting warrants for suspected drunk drivers who refuse an alcohol test
MADD’s rating breaks the five categories down into two subcategories, allowing half-star ratings for states that need to improve their existing laws. For example, states that conduct sobriety checkpoints receive a half-star, but those that conduct them at least once a month receive a full star.
The five highest-ranked states, all with 4.5 stars out of 5, are Arizona, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, West Virginia. The lowest with just 1 star is Montana, followed by Idaho, Iowa, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Wyoming, all with 1.5 stars.
“MADD’s campaign to eliminate drunk driving, now entering its 12th year, has helped reduce drunk driving deaths by 23.5%, but we still have so much more work to do,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “This Campaign is MADD’s blueprint for guiding the nation to a day when these tragedies no longer tear families apart. MADD will continue to work with all states to help them protect their communities from this violent, 100% preventable crime.”
Over the past year, MADD’s campaign efforts have helped pass and strengthen ignition interlock laws in Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Oregon. The organization has also successfully defended attempts to weaken current interlock laws in Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, Virginia, Georgia and Connecticut.
New to the campaign, MADD has expanded its advocacy to include support for fully autonomous vehicles. MADD has also joined the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets as a show of support for the promise autonomous technology holds for eliminating drunk driving. The organization will now work with automakers, the technology industry and traffic safety partners to help this promise reach reality.