Looking Back As We Move Ahead
Every year, Responsibility.org publishes an end of year report that highlights state legislative efforts, new laws and our program efforts. In every way, 2020 was a year with unique challenges and state legislative efforts were no exception. After a few months of the usual coalition efforts, educational meetings with legislators, hearings to support various impaired driving bills, COVID-19 hit and everything changed. Legislatures abruptly adjourned or focused only on COVID-19 issues. In the end, a number of important laws passed that will help to reduce impaired driving including improvements to ignition interlock laws which is one of the most important ways to prevent impaired driving.
In a few cases, new trends have emerged that we had to oppose. Several states have focused on expunging DUI charges. We have opposed those efforts because expungement erases the record of impaired driving offenses, making it impossible to identify and adequately sentence and treat repeat offenders, especially those who may repeat this crime in other states with no record if the previous DUI. Research on impaired driving recidivism demonstrates one-third of all convicted DUI offenders will reoffend. We can and must do more to change that statistic.
The issue of multiple substance impaired driving continues to be a key focus for Responsibility.org. People who consume multiple substances and drive are up to 200 times more likely to cause a crash than a sober driver. In late 2020, we launched the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving (NASID) to bring all stakeholders together to tackle this issue. More details on this effort are contained in the year-end report.
As the nation moves forward in 2021, we will face new opportunities and challenges on our roadways and in the world. We look forward to working with everyone to ensure that our work to prevent impaired driving continues to result in lives saved and reductions achieved. Partnerships in this effort, we believe, are the cornerstone to success. Thank you for all your work to stop impaired driving and for those who make our work possible, thank you for the opportunity to make change in the world. We hope you enjoy reading our end of year report.