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New Laws of the Land

As a popular PSA once noted “It's a long, long journey to the capital city. It's a long, long wait while I'm sitting in committee… But I know I'll be a law someday.” And that day has arrived. is pleased to report that many bills our organization has supported in 2016 have become laws. After months of committee hearings and chamber conferences, a total of 26 impaired driving and five underage drinking bills have been enacted across the country.

new drunk driving

We are encouraged by this progress and applaud the state legislators and governors who exhibited leadership by passing legislation that will:

  • Require all DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock which separates drinking from driving
  • Strengthen existing ignition interlock programs
  • Lengthen DUI look-back periods (i.e., the window of time that prior DUI convictions can be taken into consideration for the purpose of applying repeat offender sanctions)
  • Enhance penalties for driving impaired with a child in the vehicle
  • Increase penalties for repeat DUI offenders
  • Strengthen social host laws for adults who illegally serve alcohol to minors in their home
  • Establish Good Samaritan laws

Through the implementation and enforcement of these pieces of legislation, 21 states will be better positioned to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by impaired driving and underage drinking.

If you’re interested in learning more about the laws that supported as well as other pieces of impaired driving and underage drinking legislation that have passed this session, check out our Mid-Year Report.

Also, head on over to our brand new interactive State Map to brush up on your knowledge of your state’s laws and to see how your state measures up to the rest of the country!

Erin Holmes, Director, Traffic Safety and Technical Writer for Criminal Justice Programs, is responsible for managing’s traffic safety portfolio and partnerships, and is involved in the development of traffic safety and criminal justice policy.