May 9, 2008

MADD Disappointed by "Family-Friendly" Restaurants Attacking Ignition Interlocks

Last week, the American Beverage Institute launched a national campaign against the use of alcohol ignition interlocks as a means of reducing drunk driving. The campaign included full-page ads in USA Today and New York Post featuring the mugshot of Lindsay Lohan after her DUI arrest. According to ABI, future ads will include mugshots from other celebrity DUI arrests.

ABI has a long history of working to keep drunk drivers on the road. Their stance is that America’s drunk driving laws are too strict and shouldn’t be enforced. So their involvement in this deceptive campaign isn’t surprising or even all that interesting.

What is so disappointing and offensive to the American public is the list of restaurants hiding behind and supporting ABI. The question the public should ask is: are these restaurants putting their alcohol profits before the public’s safety? Sadly, it appears so.

MADD issued a statement calling on these so-called “family-friendly” chain restaurants to explain to the country, their employees and the families that go to their restaurants exactly why they oppose technology that is proven up to 90 percent effective in reducing drunk driving recidivism. We are also contacting the leadership of these corporations to ask for further clarification of their position.

MADD believes that anyone who violates the public trust by driving drunk at .08 BAC or above deserves an ignition interlock and we support state legislation that would make the technology mandatory for anyone convicted of drunk driving. Interlocks save lives and prevent injuries by keeping convicted drunk drivers from continuing to drive drunk.

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