Friday, May 9, 2008

MADD? Walk it off - California DUI messages.

California DUI attorney news


May 9 2008

California's Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) leadership will join 500 local supporters on Saturday, May 10 at Huntington City Beach to participate in Walk Like MADD, a 5K non-competitive walk that encourages the community to support MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,276 people were killed in California in traffic crashes involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in 2006, California DUI attorneys are reminded.

"The main reason people continue to drive drunk today - despite 27 years of intense public education and law enforcement's best efforts - is because they can," said Glynn Birch, national president of MADD. "My son might be here today if the offender that killed him had an interlock on his vehicle." Birch's 21-month-old-son Courtney was killed on May 3, 1988, more than 20 years ago, by a drunk driver with a blood alcohol level of .26 at the time of the crash and was driving with a revoked license and three prior DUI convictions, California DUI lawyers are often told.

According to a MADD propaganda campaign, an alcohol ignition interlock is a breath test device linked to a vehicle's ignition system used on the vehicles of convicted California DUI - drunk drivers. Studies have shown that these devices are up to 90 percent effective in reducing recidivism while installed on the vehicle. If all states required alcohol ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, we could save up to 4,000 lives a year.

California DUI judges who have the option to require interlocks for people convicted of their first DUI frequently do not, according to California DUI attorneys. Data from 2003 indicates that judges only required 3.8 percent of all convicted California DUI - drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock on their vehicle. Nationally, it is estimated that only one out of eight convicted drunk drivers each year has an interlock installed on their vehicle.

To address the limited use of these lifesaving devices, California's state legislature is currently considering legislation that would greatly expand California's interlock program. Assembly Bill 2784, sponsored by Assembly Member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), would require all convicted drunk drivers, including those facing their first conviction, to install an alcohol ignition interlock on their vehicle for a specified period of time in order to have their license reinstated. The bill has already passed the State Assembly's Committee on Public Safety and will soon be heard in the Assembly's Appropriations Committee, California DUI lawyers learned.

"We in California take pride in the fact that we are a traffic safety leader," said Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange). "AB 2784 has the power to save lives and prevent thousands of needless injuries due to drunk driving. It is imperative that the state Assembly and Senate pass this bill in order to ensure that our roadways are safer for California families."

MADD Orange County's third annual Walk Like MADD event - formerly known as Strides for Change - helps raise money and awareness to support MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which calls for lifesaving alcohol ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers, sobriety checkpoints and/or saturation patrols, community support and the development and exploration of advanced technologies that will one day make a vehicle inoperable by a drunk driver, California DUI attorneys warn.

The ceremonies will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the walk following at 9 a.m. Demonstrations of alcohol ignition interlocks will be conducted immediately before and following the opening ceremony and walkers will be encouraged to sign MADD's Campaign pledge. California DUI lawyers encourage attendance.

This year, Walk Like MADD events take place in more than 30 cities across the country. Corporations and individuals form teams of 10 or more and are asked to raise $100 each through donations. Three ways to get involved in the Orange County Walk Like MADD are:

-- If you live in the area of a walk event, register to walk or form a
-- If you are unable to make one of the walks, sign up to raise money as
a virtual walker, anywhere and anytime; or
-- Give a one-time donation to the walks. Please visit to register, donate or get more information.

To learn more about MADD or to receive free victim services, please visit or call (714) 838-6199.
Walk Like MADD Event Information for Saturday, May 10, 2008

WHO: MADD National President Glynn Birch
State Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange)
Huntington Beach City Councilman Gil Coerper
MADD Orange County Executive Director Gail Butler

WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2008
Ceremonies Begin - 8:30 a.m.
Walk Begins - 9 a.m.
Interlock Demonstrations at 8:15 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Huntington City Beach

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a dedicated organization, per California DUI attorneys.