The feds, the local media, and Boston car accident lawyer Neil Burns are criticizing the leniency in Massachusetts laws regarding drunk driving. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Massachusetts, and 9 other states, lag behind other states in enacting measures to prevent alcohol related motor vehicle collisions. The NTSB Most Wanted List includes elimination of “hard core” drinking while driving as one of its main targets for improvement for states.
The list from the NTSB for actions urged for state governments to pass with respect to drinking and driving are: enacting laws to reduce repeat offenders, undertaking frequent statewide highway checkpoints for sobriety, set higher penalties for first time offenders, set the limit for second time offenders at zero, cancel driving licenses for those who refuse a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test, stop plea bargaining agreements, keeping records for 10 years, special programs for repeat offenders. While we can’t comment on the effectiveness of this list, we would urge the legislature to adopt as many measures as possible to deter drinking and driving and to keep repeat offenders off the road.
The Boston Globe recently focused on the Massachusetts Legislature drunk driving news, including a review of Melanie’s Law, enacted in 2005. We won’t get into local politics here, except to say that victims of motor vehicle accidents need as much protection as possible.