MADD mom wants to see education, plus enforcement - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

MADD mom wants to see education, plus enforcement

Posted: Updated: Feb 28, 2012 06:28 PM

By Patrick Roberts

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is submitting several bills to the State Legislature next month that would strengthen laws against driving while intoxicated.

Among the changes, police would be able to administer multiple kinds of tests to suspected impaired drivers.

Another bill makes it illegal to drive while under the influence of illicit drugs in Louisiana.

Convicted offenders would also be required to undergo a substance abuse disorder evaluation to help a judge come up with a sentence.

At least 20 people were arrested for DWI in Ouachita Parish alone in the past five days.  Almost half of them were repeat offenders.

But Luanne Maxwell, whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver 12 years ago, wonders whether tougher laws alone will be enough.

"It's overdue, it's long overdue," Maxwell said.

She'd like to see a two-pronged approach to cutting down drunk driving that focuses on education as well as enforcement.

"Make it mandatory, for even young people who are beginning to get their driver's licenses – I think they should have to sit through a class, showing the effects of drinking and driving," said Maxwell.

Across Louisiana, over 40% of deaths from car accidents are alcohol-related.

"It's preventable.  It's 100% preventable," Maxwell said.

"There's only one person who can make someone do or not do something, and that's one's self."

All of Jindal's proposals require approval from the Legislature.  It meets again in March.

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