MADD to Testify in Support of All-Offender Interlock Law on Tuesday

Rep. Tim Whelan, author of the bill, will testify along with MADD staff and a victim...
State Rep. Timothy Whelan (R-Brewster)

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) will testify in support of HB 1580 on Tuesday to help stop the devastating and preventable crime of drunk driving in Massachusetts. The legislation, authored by Rep. Timothy Whelan, would require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders. Massachusetts is one of just 16 states that does not require ignition interlocks for all offenders, and the ONLY state that does not allow for the use of the device for any first-time offender.  

Testimony will begin at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5th in Hearing Room A1 at the State House.  Use the Ashburton entrance via Bowdoin Street)

Testifying will be:

  • Rep. Timothy Whelan, author of HB 1580
  • Sarah Carmichael, an injured survivor of a drunk driving crash
  • Mary Kate DePamphilis, Program Manager, MADD Massachusetts

Drunk driving remains a public safety crisis. More than 10,500 people died in drunk driving crashes nationwide in 2018; in Massachusetts, 120 died in alcohol-related crashes, representing 33 percent of all traffic fatalities across the state. Ignition interlocks save lives. MADD believes these small, in-car breathalyzers should be required for all offenders with an illegal .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and above. The devices are far safer than license suspension alone, which is ignored 50 to 75 percent of the time. Thirty-four states and Washington, D.C., have all-offender ignition interlock laws, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine. According to a MADD report, ignition interlocks have prevented drunk drivers from starting their vehicles more than 39,000 times since Massachusetts began requiring the devices for repeat offenders in 2006.

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 350,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit or call 1-877-ASK-MADD. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on