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Twenty Percent of Child Passenger Deaths Due to Drunk Driving Crashes
Date:9/16/2013

Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 17, 2013

In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15 – 21, 2013), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging lawmakers to enact legislation to protect our most vulnerable population, children. In 2011, 226 child (under age 15) passengers were killed in drunk driving crashes, representing 20 percent of all child traffic fatalities, of which more than half (54 percent) were passengers in a vehicle with the drunk driver.

“Child endangerment has reached a crisis level in our nation,” said Jan Withers, MADD National President. “Annually, MADD receives more than 17,000 phone calls related to child endangerment. Drunk driving with a child passenger is a form of child abuse and no child should ever be put in that kind of danger, especially by those entrusted to keep them safe,” Withers continued.

“Drinking and driving never mix, and it can be especially tragic when there is a child in the car. Children deserve a safe ride, in a safe seat, with a safe – and sober– driver. We appreciate the work of MADD in its effort to keep all of us safe, especially kids,” said Kate Carr, Safe Kids Worldwide President and CEO.

Today, 44 states and the District of Columbia have enacted child endangerment laws or statutes that allow for additional penalties for a drunk driving conviction with a child passenger in the vehicle. These laws vary widely in severity and definition of a child passenger. Among state laws, MADD recognizes New York’s child endangerment law – Leandra’s Law – as the most comprehensive legislation in the nation to protect our children. The law makes driving drunk with a child passenger under the age of 16 a felony. Leandra's Law is named after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was tragically killed when an SUV she was traveling in with seven other children crashed in New York City. The adult driver, who had a BAC of .132, was the mother of one of the oth
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