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Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates)—an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, and safety groups and insurance companies—recently released its 2016 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. In its thirteenth annual report, the group called on state lawmakers to pass more laws related to seatbelt and helmet use, child passenger safety, distracted driving, graduated driving privileges for teens, and impaired driving.

The report grades each state based on what Advocates consider to be optimal laws in each category. For impaired driving these include:

  • Mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers
  • Separate or enhanced penalties for impaired drivers who endanger a minor
  • Laws that prohibit all open containers and consumption of alcohol in motor vehicles, including among passengers

The report notes that only 15 states have all three laws in place—earning them a “green” rating from the organization—while 9 states have an interlock law along with one of the other measures, equating to a “yellow” rating.

Advocates US Map

As with organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Advocates emphasizes the use of ignition interlocks and automatically gives a “red” rating to any state that does not require the devices for all convicted drunk drivers. Currently only half of all states meet Advocates’ standard for interlocks. In addition, the organization noted that only two states—Texas and West Virginia—added one of the three optimal laws since the previous year’s report.

Advocates is urging lawmakers to step up efforts to address traffic safety in large part because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that preliminary numbers indicate that traffic deaths—including those tied to alcohol-related crashes—rose in 2015, as much as 8.1% during the first six months of the year.

Read the entire 2016 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws report here.

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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