Legislator Wants To Adapt NM DWI Model To Wisconsin’s Problem


Nearly six years ago, New Mexico turned to technology to get tough on drunken driving. Today, the state’s pioneering use of ignition interlocks – devices that prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from starting their cars – is credited with significant reductions in drinking-related traffic deaths, injuries and crashes, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “There are a few hundred people walking around that would have been dead if we had the same fatality rate,” said Richard Roth, a retired professor who has researched ignition interlocks.

With the strongest interlock law on the books, New Mexico’s drunken-driving recidivism rate is down 30% since 2003, helping to make the state a model for curbing impaired driving. Now, a legislator from West Allis, Wis., wants to adapt New Mexico’s tech-based approach to Wisconsin to help fight one of the country’s worst drunken-driving problems. “Wisconsin has a tremendous problem with drunk driving, and our laws are not adequate,” state Rep. Tony Staskunas said. “I like the ignition interlock approach because it starts to change behavior.”

Link: http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/35266794.html

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