Yesterday, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law a bill that will protect families in Delaware by reducing drunk driving deaths.
The new law requires all drunk drivers convicted with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater to use an ignition interlock on their vehicle for at least four months. Offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater or who are repeat offenders would be required to go on the interlock for a longer period.
Previously, interlock devices were required only for first offenders arrested with a blood-alcohol concentration of .15 or higher or who refused to take a chemical test, and for repeat drunk drivers.
When MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® in 2006 only one state, New Mexico, had interlock legislation for all offenders. Delaware joins Alabama, Mississippi, and New Hampshire, which also passed lifesaving legislation requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk driving offenders this year, bringing the total number of states with mandatory interlock laws to 24.
Similar laws enacted in other states have helped reduce drunk driving deaths. Since Arizona and Oregon implemented their interlock law, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 43 and 42 percent respectively. MADD has made ignition interlocks for all offenders our number one legislative priority because these devices save lives.
MADD applauds the leadership of Representatives Keeley and Smyk and Senate Majority Leader McBride, as well as all Delaware legislators for passing this lifesaving legislation.
For more information on interlocks, please visit www.madd.org/interlock.