Since its beginning in 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has worked hard to help reduce the numbers of victims who die due to impaired drivers. They have supported many new bills that are intended to increase penalties that are levied against a drunk driver. Recently, the Louisiana chapter took dramatic steps to catch the attention of lawmakers.
The members of the MADD chapter distributed 600 shoes across the grass in front of the capitol building. The shoes were intended to represent the 300 people who died in accidents involving impaired drivers in 2016. The wife of the governor was reportedly the first to witness the display as she arrived in order to meet with the members. She purportedly wished to convey her support for their efforts.
One of the bills the Louisiana legislators are currently considering deals with the interlocking ignition device that can be installed on the cars of drivers who have had a drunk driving conviction. The new bill would mandate that one of these devices be installed if a driver is found to be impaired or if he or she refuses to submit to a blood test to check for intoxicating substances. In the current laws, the devices are an option for first-time DUI offenders but not required.
Along with the lock that prevents an impaired driver from starting the automobile, his or her driving privileges are restricted. It is unknown whether the bill will be passed, but the local MADD chapter placed the shoes in order to make a visual statement as lawmakers arrived for business. Families who have been impacted by the actions of a drunk driver are aware of the pain and heartache that these tragic accidents cause. Along with the physical and emotional losses, there are also monetary losses. A civil lawsuit may at least allow families to recover financially from the damages they sustained.
Source: dailycomet.com, "Capitol Briefing: Here's the latest from the Louisiana Legislature", May 25, 2017