Rhode Island Scores 1.5 out of 5 in MADD Report on Drunk Driving Laws

Rhode Island (January 24, 2018) — Given Rhode Island’s low rating of 1.5 stars in Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) new Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving report to the Nation, MADD will host a press event at the State House in Providence at 3 p.m. on March 14, 2018 to discuss the organization’s legislative priorities for the year.

MADD’s 2018 Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving Report to the Nation rates every state’s drunk driving laws and highlights drunk driving countermeasures related to MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The report explains MADD’s vision to literally eliminate drunk driving in America.

The state rating of drunk driving reform efforts placed Rhode Island laws in the bottom percent of the nation. Rhode Island received 1.5 stars on the 5-star rating scale.

“Though I am proud of what we have accomplished in recent years, our state still has a long ways to go when it comes to enacting drunk driving laws proven to save lives,” said MADD Rhode Island Executive Director Eric Creamer. “MADD will continue to work with legislators to pass laws that will stop the senseless 100 percent preventable tragedies caused by drunk driving.”

MADD awarded stars to states for adopting drunk driving laws and/or implementing proven countermeasures that include:

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, such as expedited warrants and requiring ignition interlocks for suspected offenders who refuse an alcohol test
​Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk driving offenders — the revocation of driving privileges upon arrest
The five categories each have two subcategories, allowing for half-star ratings for states that need to improve their existing laws. For example, all states that conduct sobriety checkpoints receive a half-star, but those that conduct them at least once a month receive a full star.

Rhode Island received stars for passing an all-offender ignition interlock law in 2016. The report recommends legalizing sobriety checkpoints and ensuring they are conducted at least monthly; enacting an administrative license revocation law; enacting a law making child endangerment a felony; expediting warrants for suspected drunk drivers who refuse an alcohol test; and requiring ignition interlocks or criminalizing refusal of an alcohol test to improve its rating and increase public safety.

MADD’s Report to the Nation is available at madd.org/2018campaignreport. MADD is the sole author of the report, which is based on 38 years of experience working to pass lifesaving legislation, along with data from various respected government, research and public safety organization sources. For more information about MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, visit www.madd.org/campaign.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 350,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.