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

Nov 15, 2013, 15:05 ET from Diageo

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.

About Diageo
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray, Guinness, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards Wines.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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