Report to the nation details progress made to eliminate drunk and drugged driving
and need for continued enforcement efforts
The MADD national office of Irvine, Texas recently released the Mothers Against Drunk Driving report. This report on drunk and drugged driving rated every state in relation to its efforts to eliminate impaired driving.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, who also serves as the MADD Illinois subcommittee chairperson for law enforcement issues as well as the chairperson for the first ever Illinois Impaired Driving Task Force for the entire state of Illinois stated, “Illinois, Arizona, Nebraska, Mississippi, and West Virginia have the strongest drunk driving measures in place, earning a 4 to 4.5 stars out of total of 5 from MADD national headquarters.”
This report also highlights progress made nationally with high-visibility law enforcement proactive programs, ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers, advanced technology to eliminate drunk driving and grass-roots support.
Chief Weitzel stated, “Illinois is doing a fantastic job in reducing drunk and drugged driving. MADD Illinois is supporting law enforcement statewide in their efforts to not only deal with drunk and drugged drivers on the roadway, but also p
The overall drunk and drugged driving arrests went down nationwide. In 2006, there were over 13,000 deaths related to impaired driving and in 2016 that number was down to 10,000 deaths.
The progress made nationally by law enforcement, legislators and MADD programs throughout the United States is nothing short of extraordinary. However, Chief Weitzel stated, “While there have been great strides made in removing alcohol-impaired drivers from roadways, I have many concerns regarding drugged driving, particularly in light of the more permissive marijuana laws that have been enacted throughout the United States. Additionally, with the increase of prescription drug abuse, there has been a substantial increase in the number of arrests for drugged driving at the local level. Unfortunately, many individuals taking these drugs do not believe it impairs driving and continue to drive on Illinois roadways. This issue needs to be addressed by local law enforcement including enacting new state-wide legislation.”
MADD Illinois Executive Director Sam Canzoneri stated, “Every state must take steps to reduce drunk and drugged driving, including prescription drug. This report provides individual states and other stakeholders with information they need to pursue initiatives to eliminate the 100 percent preventable crime of drunk and drugged driving.”
Additionally, Chief Weitzel stated, “I am in full support of a bill that is currently being proposed by Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen named the DUI Reporting Act of 2016. This bill would close a reporting loophole that inadvertently enables repeat DUI offenders to be charged more leniently as first-time offenders due to reporting issues. The DUI reporting act would require reporting all DUI arrests as a condition of federal grant funding. DUI arrests would be reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) which contains the national crime database which is instantaneously available to police throughout the nation right from their patrol cars so repeat offenders can be charged appropriately. This legislation needs to be passed nationally as drunk and drugged driving is a violent criminal act.”
Point of contact for this media release for the Riverside Police Department is Chief Thomas Weitzel who can be reached at 708-447-2127 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Point of contact for MADD, Illinois is Director Sam Canzoneri who can be reached at 630-541-6099 or Sam.Canzoneri@madd.org
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every ten minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.