Posts Tagged ‘CDC’

On behalf of MADD and our membership across the state, I want to thank those that supported LB 667 on General File and ask for your continued support of this bill on Select File.

 First and foremost MADD supports the provision for mandatory ignition interlocks upon conviction on all offenders at .08 or above. We all know drunk driving is a violent crime and one person dies, on average, every five days in an alcohol-related crash in our state. 

Despite the fact that life saving technology exists, it is not uncommon for the courts to ask the offender if he/she wants it installed.  The law requiring ignition interlock, in its current state, is an optional law.  MADD is concerned about the disparity of treatment of offenders and MADD believes mandatory ignition interlock would provide for equitable treatment of all offenders.

 In 2009, there were more than 13,000 arrests for DWI, our state conviction rate stands at 86 percent and yet in 2009 there were only 1,800 ignition interlocks in use. Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released that ignition interlocks work to stop drunk driving and reduce recidivism.   

However, it is clear that judicial discretion is not providing for equitable treatment of offenders across the state. From our MADD Court Monitoring Program, we can see that there is clearly an inconsistent use of ignition interlock (1 out of every 6 offenders).

LB 667 will provide for a more consistent use of ignition interlock across the state both as an administrative measure and as a post-conviction measure.  The use of this technology will help to ensure safe passage on our roads for all Nebraskans. 

Last, MADD strongly supports acknowledging the transportation of a child while under the influence as distinct crime.  Two-thirds of all children ages 14 and under killed in an alcohol-related crash are killed while riding with a parent, caregiver or guardian (JAMA, May 200).  These children have no voice and they have no choice.  In Nebraska, over the last five years, more than 260 children have been put at-risk and 19 have died in an alcohol-related crash involving an adult  driver with a BAC of .08 or higher (NOHS). The lives of our youth deserve to have a policy in place to protect them from harm.

Thank you for your continued support. Contact your state senator https://secure2.convio.net/madd/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1099

  Transportation Committee

LB 625 – Support

Feb. 28, 2011

Simera Reynolds, Executive Director, MADD NE   

First, MADD would like to thank Senator Fulton for his leadership in introducing LB 625 mandatory ignition interlock for all offenders arrested at .08 and above and recognizing the transportation of our children while over the state legal limit (.08) as a felony offense.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving commends Senator Fulton for bringing this issue to the legislative body once again.  We all know drunk driving is a crime and a violent crime that kills one person in our state every five days.

Despite the fact that life saving technology exists, it is not uncommon for the courts to ask the offender if he wants it installed.  The law requiring ignition interlock, in its current state, is an optional law. For MADD optional = offender friendly. In 2009, there were more than 13,000 arrests for DWI, our state conviction rate stands at about 86 % and yet in 2009 there were only 1,800 ignition interlocks in use.

Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released that ignition interlocks do cut drunk driving and reduce recidivism.  Nebraska policy makers already knew this and acted when they passed LB 736.  However, it is clear that the use of ignition interlock has not been adopted at the county court level.  From our Court Monitoring Program, we can see that there is clearly an inconsistent use of this life saving device at best.

As a state, we have the duty to provide lifesaving technology when an offender has been found guilty of driving while intoxicated.  Not just for some but for every offender at .08 and above.

Additionally, the cost of this device is carried by the offender and does not cost the state monies.  MADD wants to see those that make the choice to drive drunk held accountable. Ignition interlock will do just that.

Second, MADD wants to articulate our strong support for a felony offense provision for those that make the choice to drive over the legal limit (.08). Adults that drink and drive with children in the vehicle are child abusers.  Child endangerment laws serve to protect innocent children from child abusers, not only those that are physically or emotionally abusive, but also those who victimize a child by driving impaired.

Currently, in our state, a DWI offender that is transporting a child can be found in violation of child endangerment law.  However, they are typically charged as two  separate offenses and one is all too often plead away. 

Two-thirds of all children ages 14 and under killed in an alcohol-related crash are killed while riding with a parent, caregiver or guardian (JAMA, May 200).  These children have no voice and they have no choice.  In Nebraska, over the last five years, more than 260 children have been put at-risk and 19 have died in an alcohol-related crash involving an adult  driver with a BAC of .08 or higher (NOHS). The lives of our youth deserve to have a policy in place to protect them from harm.

MADD would ask that you support LB 625, with the appropriate amendments, and send it to the full floor of the legislature for full debate.  Thank you for your time today.

Contact your state senator today to give our youth a voice.  Together we can protect our children and support lifesaving technology.  You voice will make a difference!

The other, day here at MADD, we had a document from our HR department telling us how to wash our hands in order to prevent spreading of the H1N1 virus. sneeze All during the summer, I have heard about the West Nile virus and the need to wear long sleeves, use bug repellant, and to see a doctor if certain symptoms appear.

And who out there hasn’t heard about a spinach contamination or peanut butter contamination?

As I was interviewed today by a student working on a college paper for a public health class all of these items were brought up.  No doubt there is a lot of concern for public safety.http://www.cdc.gov/

Where there is concern for public safety there is concern for impaired driving. Just for a moment take time to contemplate the risk that we take daily when we make the choice to drive.  Driving is probably one of the most dangerous daily tasks we undertake on a routine basis.

In our state, 1 person dies every 5 days because someone made the choice to get behind the wheel of a 2,000 pound bullet over the legal blood alcohol limit and aim it at an innocent driver.

We can prepare by buckling up, we can prepare by not letting our friends get distracted while driving us, we can prepare by making sure we don’t ever ride with a drinking driver and that we always designate a sober driver.

The student interviewing me kept asking why do you think drunk driving takes place, what do think we need to do to stop it?  I stated if we only reacted to drunk driving in the manner we react to H1N1 then we would certainly gain ground on preventing drunk driving injuries and deaths – prevention.  Drunk driving is 100% preventable.  We have the cure!  Now it is up to all of us to set the example.  Sneeze into your shoulder, wash your hands, use bug repellent and never drink & drive.

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.