Posts Tagged ‘Ignition Interlock Device’

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


January 25th, a date set in my head for years now.  More specifically, January 25th, 2002 in New Mexico where four Nebraskan’s lost their lives to a nine time repeat offender.  January was a rough month with multiple fatalties here in Nebraska and 2002 ended up being one of the toughest years for alcohol-related crashes with a total of 115 deaths due to an alcohol-related crash and that is just in our state.

I can still remember traveling to New Mexico to be an advocate in the courtroom, for both families,  providing support and a strong shoulder as each family read their victim impact statements, in federal court, about how their loved ones would be forever missed. 

Dale, Jim and Jerry soon became strong supporters of MADD, active at the community and state level and to this day I feel very fortuante to count them as a friend of MADD.  The Beller family has been a strong advocate for mandatory ignition interlock legislation. They first worked with Governor Richardson in New Mexico.  New Mexico was the first to mandate ignition interlock and  over the last few years we have had data supporting that “offenders while on ignition interlock do not re-offend 95% of the time”.

Nebraska does have an ignition interlock law but LB 625 offers a means to mandate for all offenders at .08 and above.  MADD strongly supports this action as a means to ensure every offender is held accountable, pays for his/her crime and ignition interlock ensures public safety.

Today, in memory of the Bellers and the Ramaekers I want to urge you to fight for your fellow Nebraskans and write your state senator to support LB 625, introduced by State Senator Tony Fulton.

In this day and age, it takes but five minutes to e-mail a note to your senator.  The state senators need to know that we care about our loved ones and we want every family member to arrive home from the day to share the next day ahead.  With your voice MADD can strive to meet the goals set in our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

All of us to should look to those impacted by drunk driving and say enough is enough, there is a better way and for the sake of our families we must be willing to encourge our policy makers to hold those that make the choice to drive drunk accountable.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by an alcohol-related crash please know that MADD is here to support you through the court process and the years ahead. 24 hour hotline: 877-623-3435

The war against drunk driving continues on, in Nebraska, 65 people were killed by drunk drivers with an illegal alcohol level of .08 BAC or higher, in 2008. Despite a tremendous decline – here at MADD, even one more death is unacceptable. 

 The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is exactly what it says it is. New, smart technology is in development that would detect if a driver is drunk and prevent the car from starting.  In our state we are fortunate enough to have a legislative body that stands behind this Campaign and supports policies to reduce drunk driving, LB 497.

 When you think about how far technology has come from anti-theft sensors to a car that parallel parks itself, it’s highly conceivable that in years to come cars will have alcohol sensors to stop drunk driving all together.

In the meantime, the Campaign calls for stepped up efforts to stop drunk driving – high visibility law enforcement crackdowns, and mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Both of these tools are utilized in our state and prehaps that may be one reason our alcohol-related deaths are at an all time low.

 We believe we can eliminate drunk driving once and for all. But we need the public’s support so MADD will work to mobilize our grassroots to fight to eliminate drunk driving.  Please take a moment to thank your state senator for voting for LB 497,   and

the Governor, for signing the bill as it arrived on his desk.

Nebraska State Capitol
Nebraska State Capitol

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

State Executive Director