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Mothers Against Drunk Driving Announces Maryland Legislators of the Year

September 25th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has recognized five 2019 legislative champions in Maryland, including Governor Larry Hogan and four state lawmakers for their tireless efforts to help eliminate the 100 percent preventable crime of drunk driving.

Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary and Senator Will Smith authored legislation requiring ignition interlocks for Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) agreements for drunk drivers. Senator Ben Kramer and Delegate Erek Barron authored legislation that equips interlocks with cameras. Governor Hogan has proven himself to be a vocal advocate for drunk driving reform in Maryland through his support of improvements to the state’s ignition interlock and repeat offender laws and advanced alcohol detection technology in vehicles.

“MADD applauds Delegate Atterbeary and Senator Smith for their leadership and commitment to making interlocks a mandatory condition of PBJ agreements. MADD is also proud to recognize Senator Kramer and Delegate Barron for helping add another layer of accountability to our ignition interlock law by requiring cameras, and Gov. Hogan for his continued support in our fight to end the tragedies caused by drunk driving. MADD is grateful to each of you,” said Lisa Spicknall, executive director of MADD Maryland.

“Nearly half of all DUI arrests result in a PBJ, leaving thousands of drunk drivers on Maryland roads to harm other drivers. Statistics show that the ignition interlock saves lives and changes behaviors, thereby reducing the rate of repeat offenders,” Delegate Atterbeary said. “It is time that Maryland joined five other states that require first-time drunk drivers who enter into a PBJ agreement to use an ignition interlock. Let’s not wait for another high profile drunk driving fatality when we can save lives now.”

Senator Smith, who is currently deployed overseas, said he is honored to receive the distinction and looks forward to his return to Maryland to get to work with MADD saving lives.

In all, MADD recognized 45 state lawmakers, three governors and one lieutenant governor for their commitment to saving lives. For the full list, visit madd.org

Many of the 2019 Legislators of the Year have played a major role in MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which was launched in 2006. A key component of the Campaign calls for the passage of all-offender interlock laws. Prior to the Campaign, only one state — New Mexico — had an all-offender interlock law. This year, Kentucky and New Jersey passed all-offender laws, bringing the total number of states to 34.

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