Florida Given Four Out Of Five Stars For Efforts In Preventing Drunken Driving


Florida has received a four out of five-star rating from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The only qualification preventing Florida from a five-star rating is a mandatory all-offender ignition-interlock law.

Ignition-interlock devices measure blood alcohol content before drivers can start their cars. Florida’s current ignition-interlock statutes require first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol content greater than or equal to 0.15 percent and repeat offenders to use these devices, according to the MADD statistics on Florida.

The five requirements to achieve a five-star rating include conducting sobriety checkpoints, enhancing penalties for DUI child endangerment, low blood-alcohol content test refusal rates, revoking licenses and requiring ignition-interlock devices for all offenders, according to MADD’s 2015 Report to the Nation.

Lt. Ryan Martina, assistant chief of public affairs for the Florida Highway Patrol, said approximately 7,185 ignition-interlock devices were installed in Florida from January to August 2014.

State rankings based on efforts to prevent drunk driving. The ratings are given on a five-star scale.
This map reflect state ratings based on efforts to prevent drunk driving. The ratings are given on a five-star scale.” Courtesy of MADD

Florida has received more than $1 million for a federal interlock-incentive, according to the 2015 MADD report.

During the 2014 Florida Legislative session legislators expanded the existing law, as explained on the MADD website, to allow judges to order interlocks for first-time offenders with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 to 0.14 percent in lieu of a 10-day vehicle impoundment.

Williams said none of the legislators in Florida have pitched the idea to make ignition-interlock devices mandatory for all convicted drunken drivers.

Since the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving report was first published in 2011, Florida has consistently received a four-star rating.

About Emily Cardinali

Emily is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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