Udall joins push for tougher drunk driving laws

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By The Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., were joined by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Monday to unveil new legislation that would help keep repeat drunk drivers off the road.  

Under the legislation, states must require the use of ignition interlock technology for all convicted drunk driving offenders, or else lose a portion of their federal transportation funding.  

The ignition interlock is an electronic breath testing system connected to a vehicle’s ignition system that prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol content exceeds a pre-set limit.

“New Mexico was the first state to attack the epidemic of drunk driving by implementing an aggressive ignition interlock penalty program for all offenders,” Udall said in a news release. “The strategy has helped take drunk drivers off the roads and save lives. I believe enacting it nationwide would have the same positive and resounding effect.”

Far too many people die from alcohol-related auto accidents each year, Lautenberg said in the release.

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