Middle of the road drunk driving laws

Oklahoma is in the middle of the pack when it comes to state laws against drunk driving, according to a national report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

For the past 10 years, MADD has issued this report in an effort to eliminate drunk driving. States are awarded points for new drunk driving laws and for the implementation of countermeasures, including:

  • Conducting sobriety checkpoints
  • Ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders
  • Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
  • Participating in “no-refusal” activities for those suspected of drunk driving
  • Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk driving offenders

Oklahoma gets credit for sobriety checkpoints, administrative license revocation, child safety and penalizing drivers who refuse an alcohol breath test. Oklahoma got 3.5 stars out of a possible 5.  Arizona (4.5 stars), Maryland (4.5 stars) and Mississippi (4.5 stars) top the list. Montana (0.5 star) and Michigan (1 star) are at the bottom, according to the report.

In this edition, all states that conduct sobriety checkpoints got a half-star, but those that conduct them at least once a month receive a full star.

“Ten years ago, MADD launched our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving because we truly believe we have a blueprint for our nation to end this violent crime,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “By joining with our federal and state legislative partners and representing the one million victims we have served, MADD has helped pass laws that will lead us to a nation of No More Victims.

“We’ve made great progress, but with more than 10,000 lives lost to drunk driving in 2015 — and concerns that the numbers are even higher in 2016 — we still have a lot of work to do.”

In November, each year America begins six weeks of holiday celebrations that mark a deadly period of drunk driving crashes. In 2015, 973 people were killed in drunk driving crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day — nearly 10 percent of all drunk driving crashes for the year. On the day before and day of Thanksgiving and Christmas, 33 to 39 percent of all traffic fatalities were caused by drunk driving.