Drunken Driving

Does America need tougher laws?


In 1980, 28,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. But the past 20 years have seen a sea change in attitudes toward drinking and driving. Drunken-driving deaths dropped to a record low in 1999, when “only” 15,786 people died. Encouraged by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other organizations, many states and the federal government have passed tough anti-drunken-driving legislation. Nonetheless, drinking and driving remains a serious national problem, and experts worry that the progress in reducing drunken driving has slowed. While safety advocates say the legal threshold for drunken driving should be lowered to a .08 percent blood-alcohol concentration, the alcoholic-beverage industry says the stricter standard would penalize responsible social drinkers.

Four Vermont teenagers died in this car when they crashed on the way home ...

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