More stringent measures seeing reduced US alcohol-related accidents - 30 Dec 2011  
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In its 2011 annual report, the US organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving has given top five-star ratings to the states of Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and Utah for their legislation to halt driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Effective measures include the requirement of ignition interlocks for all first-time offenders, which prevent the car from starting when the driver has consumed alcohol, as well as other initiatives such as sobriety checkpoints.

In states such as Arizona, where ignition interlocks are required, alcohol-related traffic fatalities have dropped by almost 50%, from 399 in 2006 to 210  last year.

And in Hawaii, where the ignition interlock program was launched at the beginning of this year as completely self sustaining and requires no taxpayer dollars, at least 466 drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above were prevented from starting their automobiles this year.

Congresswoman Sharon Har stated, "This is truly a victory for all the people of the state of Hawaii.” Meanwhile, as states like Nebraska pass laws to activate the system effective January 1, 2012, the National Highway Safety Administration has reported a decline in alcohol-related accidents across the country, with some 5% fewer fatalities from 2009 to 2010 alone.

Bravo, all five-star states for your progressive actions to save lives as we also thank Mothers Against Drunk Driving for their tireless efforts in protecting public safety. May more and more governments join in such measures to usher in societies that are healthy, safe and intoxicant-free.

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