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.

4 Responses to MADD Says Lowering Legal Blood-Alcohol Level Not Best Way to Stop Drunk Driving

  1. dean hale | May 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    The greater issue is treating the person NOT the criminal offense. Anyone who blows a .08 has built a tolerance perhaps if not already is on their way to alcoholism. Only addressing the DWI is excluding the real issue treat the disease not just the offense! You can lower the level and have all of the DWI checkpoints you want, require inter-lock devices, etc. but until you address the REAL PROBLEM all you will have is recidivism as a result.

  2. docbarry | May 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Did anyone ever think (I know we have) while watching any TV show, the successful crime stopper, cop, FBI, Whatever, rewards themselves with a drink. Even the Police Commissioner on Bluebollods. No matter what I think of these shows, it is kind of like the automobile manufacturers, advertising one vehicle after another. If the ads for cars said Buy a Toyaota Tundra, F-150, Silverado, Ram, allof them best in claass by someone. Would anyone buy one if the ads said listen, this will be wirth half of what it is now in three years. It will not last, and we will spend millions of dollars to convince you that you need a 2016.
    Don’t, or please, let me not sound insane, but don’t the media companies realize that it is strictly a numbers game. That they know that ^% of all that try alcohol will be come addicted. So what would be the corporate goal? Get more to try, and bank on the 6%. By the way, Do you realize that 50% of the beer sold in this country is purchased by 7% of the drinkers.

  3. Michael Hetzman | May 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    “50% of the beer is purchased by 7% of the drinkers”?? I’d LOVE to see the empirical research that supports that claim!

    Did you also know that 100% of crimes committed with firearms are committed by criminals?

  4. Jose | May 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I disagree with MAAD. My DWI participants already know that if they drink and drive that they are going to be caught. Most of them thought at the time that they were not drunk or would even blow over the limit. If you lower the BAC to .05, they will not only know that they will be stop but will also given a citation and then convicted of a DWI. Fear of being caught and convicted is a very strong deterant. You will also educate people that your emergancy reaction skils will be impaired at a BAC of .05 and therfore you are endangering public safety when you decide to drive at that level.

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