Mothers Against Drunk Driving or M.A.D.D. is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and expressing support for actions taken against drunk driving. The organization is committed to ending drunk driving nationwide, and advocates for steps taken to enhance laws and policies to crack down on drunk drivers in an effort to make the nation's roadways safer for drivers. The organizations frequently run campaigns nationwide that highlight particular issues, or recent happenings when a new law affecting how a state handles drunk driving incidents passes. Such was the case this past June, when M.A.D.D. paid a visit to Macon, Georgia following a new law passed affecting how the state handles first time DUI offenders.
M.A.D.D. President Visits Georgia
Georgia was recently visited by M.A.D.D. president Coleen Sheehey-Church. Sheehey-Church paid a visit to Macon to celebrate the passing of Georgia's new option to allow first time DUI offenders to have an option to make use of ignition interlock devices. According to M.A.D.D., use of interlock devices has prevented over 2.3 impaired drivers from getting on to the roads. Georgia is the 49th state to make use of an ignition interlock device legal option for defendants.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a special device that is placed into an individual's vehicle. The device itself is outfitted with a breathalyzer, or similar device used to test a person's blood alcohol content, and will not allow the vehicle to turn on if the breath test is failed. In some cases, the breath test failure may also trigger a warning signal to police officers that a person has attempted to get behind the wheel of the car while intoxicated.
Sheehey-Church met with officers from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Bibb and Houston County Sheriff's Departments, and Georgia State Patrol at a press conference. She expressed support and excitement for the new law, saying that this new law is a "safe and smart" way of combatting drunk driving, citing its ability to help habitual drunk drivers change their behavior over time. Rather than simply placing a drunk driver in prison, these devices help by taking direct action to correct their behavior over a long period of time. The law went into effect on the first of July. M.A.D.D. will be making their way across Georgia as part of their 'Drive Sober Georgia' campaign.
Ignition interlock devices on vehicles can mean safer roads for the individuals who drive on them. By eliminating the potential for a drunk driver to even start their vehicle, these devices effectively prevent a drunk driver from even getting on the road. This will, of course, reduce the likelihood of accidents related to impaired driving as well.