Broward DUI attorney William Moore has observed the toughening of the criminal laws against driving under the influence of alcohol in his years as a criminal defense attorney. He has found that the driving force behind many new proposals in state legislatures around the country has been Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an organization founded in the 1980s to combat DUI and to protect innocent victims from the harms DUI can cause – especially DUI Manslaughter. A woman whose daughter was killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver started the organization, which grew explosively through the 1980s and 1990s, in terms of numbers and influence.
Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore notes that the organization’s influence has been strong in Florida, as in other states. MADD was behind the movement to lower the “legal limit” at which the state presumes a driver is intoxicated to 0.08 percent, where it now stands in every state. It has also pushed for harsher sentencing policy, more sobriety checkpoints, and other legislation, such as ignition interlock devices that require a person who has had a DUI conviction to periodically blow air into a machine that monitors his or her blood alcohol concentration in order to keep the motor in the vehicle on. In fact, some organizers are now lobbying in at least one state for mandatory ignition interlock systems in all vehicles, an incredibly radical measure.
The president announced recently that the new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will be Charles Hurley, who has been the Chief Executive Officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving since March of 2005. Since he has been in charge of the organization, MADD has campaigned to cut the legal limit again – this time in half, to 0.04 percent blood alcohol concentration. This is despite the fact that a person can be convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol concentration lower than 0.08 percent, so long as there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was, in fact, impaired. Evidence might include testimony regarding the driver’s performance in roadside field sobriety tests, for example, or regarding a law enforcement officer’s actual observations of the person’s inadequate driving.
Critics suspect that Hurley is too biased and his agenda too strong for the position, especially since federal highway funds are at stake. Others, however, applaud the aggressive his anti-drunk driving stances and credit MADD-driven policies with saving lives. Either way, it is not yet clear how his past experiences at MADD will drive his decision-making at the NHTSA.
Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore provides outstanding DUI defense in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Lauderdale-Dade Counties. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore, P.A.
This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.