2000-08-02 / Political Page

Lowey Calls For .08 Drunk Driving Law

Lowey Calls For .08 Drunk Driving Law


Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Rego Park) spoke out  in support of a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard for drunk driving and urged Congress to enact this standard nationwide before the end of this year.  Lowey, second right, the author of the Safe and Sober Streets Act, was joined by, l. to r., Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Millie Webb, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

“At .08 BAC, all drivers - regardless of experience - show impairment in driving ability.  If we adopted the .08 standard nationwide, we could save 500 to 600 lives every year.  That should be enough evidence to convince this Congress,” Lowey said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol impairment is the single greatest factor in motor vehicle deaths and injuries.  In 1999, 38 percent of all vehicle fatalities involved alcohol, and more than 300,000 people were injured in alcohol-related accidents.  In addition, the relative fatality risk for drivers with BACs between .05 and .09 is over 11 times greater than for those with a BAC of zero. Eighteen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico impose the .08 standard, and on average, they have seen six to twelve percent reductions in drunk driving offenses.  The .08 standard has also been shown to be an effective deterrent to those who might drive while intoxicated.  Lowey’s bill would require states to enact a .08 law.  Currently, New York has not adopted this standard.  “It’s time to end the deaths, to end the suffering of thousands of families, and to end the cycle of destruction caused by drunk driving.  I urge Congress to give American families peace of mind and enact the .08 standard now,” Lowey said.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Rego Park) spoke out in support of a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard for drunk driving and urged Congress to enact this standard nationwide before the end of this year. Lowey, second right, the author of the Safe and Sober Streets Act, was joined by, l. to r., Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Millie Webb, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “At .08 BAC, all drivers - regardless of experience - show impairment in driving ability. If we adopted the .08 standard nationwide, we could save 500 to 600 lives every year. That should be enough evidence to convince this Congress,” Lowey said. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol impairment is the single greatest factor in motor vehicle deaths and injuries. In 1999, 38 percent of all vehicle fatalities involved alcohol, and more than 300,000 people were injured in alcohol-related accidents. In addition, the relative fatality risk for drivers with BACs between .05 and .09 is over 11 times greater than for those with a BAC of zero. Eighteen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico impose the .08 standard, and on average, they have seen six to twelve percent reductions in drunk driving offenses. The .08 standard has also been shown to be an effective deterrent to those who might drive while intoxicated. Lowey’s bill would require states to enact a .08 law. Currently, New York has not adopted this standard. “It’s time to end the deaths, to end the suffering of thousands of families, and to end the cycle of destruction caused by drunk driving. I urge Congress to give American families peace of mind and enact the .08 standard now,” Lowey said.

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