Friday, March 14, 2008

The Next Crusade: Mandatory Ignition Interlocks

The Agitator unpacks MADD propaganda (MADD's madness):

...There are several things wrong with the [MADD] chart, most notably that they measure “success” by percentage of traffic fatalities that involved alcohol. This is problematic for several reasons. The first is of course the usual complaint about the overly broad definition of “alcohol-related.” But it’s also the wrong way to measure progress. There will always be a group of hardcore alcoholics on the road who are impervious to PR campaigns, roadblock checkpoints, and the like. As technology makes cars safer, then, the total number of traffic fatalities is going to continue to decline. But that core group of alcoholics will still be out there, meaning the percentage of total traffic fatalities caused by drunk driving is likely to increase. A better measure would be to look at the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers for every million miles driven.

The other mistake with the chart is that MADD is measuring progress by whether a state went up or down in the percentage of highway fatalities related to alcohol in the previous year. So if a state has shown 20 years of progress, then blipped up a bit (as many have, I’d argue in part because they’ve adopted some of MADD’s counterproductive policy recommendations), MADD says they need all sorts of newer, tougher laws.

And the law they want? Mandatory ignition interlocks.

For each and every state, MADD looks very carefully at the numbers, then concludes that–surprise!–the number demand that state must adopt the organization’s latest public policy crusade–mandatory ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders.

Agitator finds a number of States with exceptionally good DUI/killer ratios--and each one MUST have a "mandatory interlock law."

In fact, just about every state “needs an interlock law,” no matter what the number say. Which would be fine, except that MADD pretends to have arrived at the recommendation for an interlock law only after carefully studying the numbers.

You heard it here second.

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