MADD Says Lowering Legal Blood-Alcohol Level Not Best Way to Stop Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says the new recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that states lower allowable blood-alcohol levels for drivers is not the most effective way to eliminate drunk driving, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
While the group does not oppose lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit, president Jan Withers says doing so “will take a lot of effort for a potential result that is many, many years down the line.” MADD says the government needs to focus on enforcing existing laws aimed at stopping drunk driving.
In a statement, the group says it is committed to implementing its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The campaign focuses on increased high-visibility law enforcement, state laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted offenders, and research toward developing advanced technology to prevent a drunk driver from operating a vehicle.
The NTSB is urging states to lower the legal limit for blood-alcohol levels from 0.08 to 0.05. The agency says thousands of people are killed or injured each year by drivers who are not legally drunk, but who are still impaired. Currently about 10,000 people die in alcohol-related car crashes each year.
A person with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 percent is 38 percent more likely to be involved in a crash, compared with someone who has not been drinking, according to the NTSB. A person with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level is 169 percent more likely to be involved in an accident.
The board made a number of other recommendations, such as requiring everyone convicted of drunk driving to put an ignition interlock device in their car.