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MADD Rates the States: Can We Reduce Georgia Drunk Driving Crashes?

In November, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released its “Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving Fifth Anniversary Report to the Nation.” The report graded each state on its effort to reduce drunk driving accidents and deaths. The states were rated on a five-star scale, with five stars being the best possible rating and one star being the lowest. States were rated on each of the following drunk driving countermeasures:

  • Requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders;
  • Conducting regular sobriety checkpoints;
  • Legislating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk while there are children in the vehicle;
  • Requiring blood-alcohol testing with “no-refusal” for those suspected of drunk driving;
  • Revoking licenses of drunk driving offenders.

Each of these five countermeasures has been shown to significantly reduce drunk driving accidents. 

Five states earned a five-star rating: Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and Utah. Five states earned a one-star rating: Montana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

How did Georgia rate? Georgia received an average three-star rating. While the state has made some efforts to reduce the number of Georgia DUI crashes, more can be done to prevent Georgia drunk driving deaths. Georgia received points for requiring ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of repeat drunk drivers, but lost points for not requiring the device to be used by first-time offenders. The average first-time DUI offender has driven drunk 87 times before his arrest.

Georgia also lost points for not passing “no-refusal” laws. No-refusal policies require drivers who are suspected of drunk driving to either submit to blood-alcohol testing or lose their license.

Impaired driving accidents kill approximately 11,000 people every year. If you or a loved one is a victim of a Georgia DUI accident, you may need information on where to get help. Atlanta DUI victim lawyer Shane Smith has written a book to help families cope after drunk driving accidents. Request your free copy of I Was Hit By A Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? by calling 866-979-1629. To speak with an Atlanta DUI victim lawyer, contact the Law Office of Shane Smith at 866-979-1629.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia