NHTSA Data Confirms "Hardcore" Drunk Drivers Still Remain Highest Priority for Eliminating Drunk Driving Fatalities Industry Calls for Increased Focus on Repeat Offenders and High BAC Drivers
NORWALK, Conn., Nov. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) once again shows the bulk of drunk driving deaths are caused by "hardcore" drunk drivers. In its 2012 annual report on road fatalities, NHTSA published finalized statistics for fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes. Unfortunately, the 2012 data showed a greater than 3% increase in total fatalities over the prior year, which was the first increase since 2005.
The report highlights that while drunk driving fatalities remain at near historic lows, they increased 4.6% over the previous year. The majority of those crashes involved drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .15 or higher – nearly twice the industry-supported legal limit of .08. Repeat offenders and drivers with a BAC of .15 or higher are deemed "hardcore" drunk drivers.
"We've known for years that 'hardcore' drunk drivers account for the large majority of drunk driving fatalities, and yesterday's NHTSA data confirms that fact. While all drunk driving is unacceptable, we simply must do everything we can to prevent 'hardcore' drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel," said Jon Pageler, Senior Vice President, Diageo North America. "We will continue to work at the state level with law enforcement, the alcohol policy community and advocacy groups to pass stronger repeat offender/high BAC laws."
The State Government Relations team at Diageo has actively worked across the country for years to support meaningful measures to combat drunk driving and underage drinking. This includes lobbying in support of legislation that increases penalties for "hardcore" drunk driving and stiffens penalties and revokes driver's licenses for adults who provide alcohol to minors.
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