Mothers Against Drunk Driving has released its annual state rankings for 2017, and Florida scored 14th nationally based on a number of fronts in the battle against drunk drivers.
MADD reports drunk drivers continue to be responsible for nearly 850 road deaths a year in Florida, accounting for more than one-fourth of all traffic fatalities. The agency gave Florida 2.5 of 5 stars, compared to 3 stars for Georgia, 3.5 for Alabama and 4.5 for Mississippi. Florida scored similarly to other states with large populations, including New York (2.5) and Texas (2.5). California scored better at 3.5. Most of the lowest-scoring states were in the upper midwest, including Michigan (1), Wisconsin (2) and the Dakotas.
For decades, our drunk driving injury lawyers in Southwest Florida have sponsored MADD and local law enforcement efforts to crackdown on drunk drivers, including roving patrols and sobriety checkpoints. We are working hard at the local level, but the MADD report reveals there is more work to be done at the policy level. MADD notes that since its founding in 1982, the number of fatal drunk driving accidents has been cut in half, from a high of more than 20,000 deaths a year. Much of this success has been due to legislative and policy changes at the state and federal level, and high-visibility enforcement at the local level.