In the first six months of 2012, traffic fatalities nationwide increased nine percent compared to figures for the same time period in the previous year. This is the largest percentage increase for a half-year period on record. The cause of the increased fatalities has not been released, however we know that historically nearly one-third of all fatal vehicle crashes involve a drunk driver. An increase of nine percent, if maintained, could mean that nearly 1,000 additional people could lose their lives as a result of drunk drivers each year.
Findings such as these make passage of legislation that requires convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device more important than ever. For six years, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) has promoted the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® with the goal of having every state pass the legislation requiring ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk drivers. So far, only 17 states require or provide strong incentives for ignition interlocks for people convicted of drunk driving. States that have taken action include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington. The results in these states have been overwhelmingly positive since passage of the law, and in Oregon and Arizona drunk driving deaths have decreased by 50 percent. Residents of the 33 states yet to pass this important legislation need to contact their legislators and urge them to take action. With traffic fatalities on the rise, it is more important than ever that we get drunk drivers off our roads.
If you or a member of your family has been the victim of a drunk driver, contact Bachus & Schanker for advice and legal representation at coloradolawstg.wpengine.com or call 866-795-0696.