The crusading, anti-drunk-driving Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) gave California DUI enforcement a four star rating in its fifth annual progress report to the nation, according to MADD's website.
The report uses a five-star system to rate states on their implementation of proven drunk driving countermeasures. Only five states and the District of Columbia received the distinction of being awarded a five star rating this year.
In order to receive five stars, a state’s DUI laws must require the installation of an ignition interlock device for DUI offenders, conduct sobriety checkpoints, have harsher penalties for those who are convicted of a DUI with a minor in the car, not permit a majority of drivers to refuse blood alcohol concentration tests, and confiscate the driver’s licenses of those convicted of DUI, according to MADD.
Not all stars are created equal, however. MADD’s website cites ignition interlocks and sobriety checkpoints as the two most effective ways to dramatically reduce drunk driving fatalities.
Although the report states California has made significant progress towards reducing drunk driving, the Golden State apparently has a lot more work to do in the areas of ignition interlock requirements and its child endangerment laws.
The state did implemented a five-year program in 2010 requiring ignition interlocks for first-time offenders,but it has only been applied to four counties, including Los Angeles. The organization hopes the legislature will expand the program across the state.
Although not a perfect rating, California’s four stars show that the state is taking its DUI enforcement seriously, and the rating may spur it to take even more action against drunk drivers. Los Angeles drivers should be even more cautious against drinking and driving.