The Nevada Legislature passed a lifesaving drunk driving bill that will save lives and prevent injuries caused by repeat drunk driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) applauds legislators for passing SB 259, which would make Nevada the 30th state to require ignition interlocks after a drunk driving offense.
“MADD is grateful to the Nevada Legislature for recognizing that ignition interlocks are the only technology available to stop someone from driving drunk,” said Debbie Zelinski, Program Coordinator for MADD’s Northern Nevada Affiliate. “These lifesaving devices have preventing 2.3 million attempts to drive drunk across the nation over a 10-year period. We know they will save lives in Nevada.”
SB 259 requires anyone arrested with a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and above to use an interlock for 90 days after an arrest or not drive at all. Upon conviction, a judge must order an ignition interlock for at least six months unless the judge determines this would not serve the interests of justice. Offenders who installed an interlock pre-conviction would receive day-for-day credit for any time ordered on an interlock by a judge upon conviction. In addition, any offender who refuses a BAC test would be required to install an ignition interlock after an arrest if he or she wants to drive during the one-year administrative license revocation period.
Currently, Nevada requires ignition interlocks for first offenders with a BAC .18 or greater for a period of at least one year, and judges have the option of ordering first-time offenders with a BAC of .08 to .17 for three to six months.
MADD believes all drunk driving offenders should use an ignition interlock for at least six months before regaining unrestricted driving privileges.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ignition interlocks stop repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent compared to license suspension alone.
Recent Studies by the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University have concluded that all-offender ignition interlock laws reduce drunk driving fatalities by 7 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C., have all-offender ignition interlock laws, meaning they require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders after the first offense.
In May, the Oklahoma Legislature sent a similar bill to Governor Mary Fallin, who has until June 10 to sign the bill into law.
“MADD’s goal is for all 50 states to pass all-offender laws as part of our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “We are more than halfway there after 10 years, and we look forward to working with lawmakers in the other 20 states to make sure they all offer the same lifesaving protection to their residents and visitors.”