MADD Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving

Once again, MADD is out to stop their old nemesis: The drunk driver. But now, they have new methods.

ABC's Andrea Canning explains.

After 25 years of helping save lives on America's roads, the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving is entering a new era.

"If we can't stop drunks from driving, we'll stop vehicles from driving drunks. That's how we'll ultimately eliminate drunk driving," said Glynn Birch, MADD president.

MADD and the U.S. Department of Transportation have teamed up. They're encouraging more states to pass laws that would make alcohol- detecting devices mandatory in vehicles driven by those convicted of drunken driving. The device won't let the car be started if alcohol is detected on the driver .

"Drunk driving is a problem that is painful and persistent, but it's also preventable," said Mary Peters, transportation secretary. "Pairing the public and private sectors for the common good is a powerful combination, one that will help us achieve real results in terms of saving lives and preventing injuries."

With 13,000 people killed by drunk drivers every year, MADD is also calling for tougher enforcement measures around the country and more sobriety checkpoints.

"There will be no tolerance, there will be no forgiveness," said Jim Champagne, past chairman for Governor's Highway Safety Association. "The police officers are doing what they need to do, it's up to us to say its enough."

The organization also wants to establish a panel of safety experts to explore other technology options that would help prevent drunk driving.

One piece of new technology the auto manufacturers are currently developing involves sensors hidden in the vehicle that will be used to detect drunk drivers behind the wheel

MADD is calling it the campaign to eliminate drunk driving.
The effort is four-pronged: tougher enforcement, better use of new technology, support for emerging technology and grassroots mobilization.

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