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November 23, 1999

Governor Receives Top Honors From "M.A.D.D."

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today earned high praise from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his distinguished record of combating drinking and driving. In a national study released today, the governor received an "A" grade, the highest mark, and was recognized as "one of the strongest advocates of anti-DUI legislation in the nation."

"I'm very proud of what we've accomplished in Illinois to reduce alcohol-related accidents and fatalities. The safety of our roadways has always been a top priority of mine, and I'm honored to receive this recognition." Ryan said.

During his tenure as Secretary of State, Ryan won passage of several major anti-drunk driving initiatives. In the spring of 1997, Ryan proposed and passed the Midwest's first law lowering the legal limit for drunk driving from a blood-alcohol content of .10 percent to .08 percent. In 1994, Ryan proposed and passed the "Use It & Lose It" law, which suspends the drivers licenses of underage motorists caught with any trace of alcohol in their system while driving.

Ryan's anti-drunk driving efforts have earned him numerous accolades including the MADD Government Leader Against Drunk Driving Award in 1995, and the 1994 Government Leadership Award from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving.

The 2000 "Rating the States" Survey, co-sponsored by MADD and the Guide One Foundation, awarded Illinois a "B+" grade, which is the weighted average of the following graded categories: governor; legislature; statistics and records; law enforcement; administrative measures/criminal sanctions; regulatory control/availability; youth legislation, prevention and education; victim issues; laws; and fatality trends. Governor Ryan's "A" was the highest mark given.

"Although this study does indicate that Illinois is on the right track, there is still room for improvement," Ryan added. "And that's why I intend to continue working with Secretary White and Mothers Against Drunk Driving until everyone understands that drinking and driving simply do not mix."

Brad Fralick, Executive Director of MADD of Illinois, applauded the governor's long-time commitment to promoting safe roadways in Illinois. "Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Illinois is very pleased that Governor Ryan received this wonderful grade, and we look forward to continuing our work together to rid Illinois roadways of the scourge of drunk driving."

For more information on the 2000 "Rating the States" Survey, please contact MADD at 217/698-1128.


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