Baltimore wins MADD national seal of approval

Mothers Against Drunk Driving taps him as a top legislator

Staff report
A local legislator has won national acclaim from Mothers Against Drunk Driving as one of its 2014 Legislative Champions.

State Rep. Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, who represents Greene County at the Statehouse, was one of three Iowa lawmakers last week to win MADD’s seal of approval for their efforts this year on ignition interlock legislation.

MADD on Dec. 4 honored 81 lawmakers nationwide for contributions to eliminate drunk driving, to advance the rights of drunk driving victims and to prevent underage drinking.

Baltimore led efforts in the Iowa House calling for the use of an ignition interlock — an in-car breathalyzer — for convicted drunk drivers.

Although the House and Senate passed separate, all-offender interlock measures, none passed the full legislature.

It also was recently announced that Baltimore will serve as chairman of the House Judiciary committee when the legislative session begins on Jan. 12.

Baltimore last month easily fended off a challenge by Boone Democrat Hans Erickson for re-election in Iowa House District 47, which includes Greene County and most of Boone County.

He told The Jefferson Herald after the election that he plans to push for stricter sentencing for child sex offenders and continue working toward interlock legislation.

Prior to lobbying by MADD, only one state, New Mexico, had an all-offender interlock law.

Today, 24 states have enacted all-offender interlock laws.

“To these lawmakers who worked tirelessly to protect our families from drunk drivers and to help protect our young people from underage drinking, we are forever grateful,” MADD National President Jan Withers said last week in a statement.

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