I applaud Sara Foss for her June column, “Lowering the BAC a Good Idea.” She raises awareness on a bill (A2302) that would significantly lower the DWI fatalities. Yet, this important issue haslargely been ignored by the media.
Foss accurately framed the arguments by the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) and the Academics of Engineering, Medicine and Science to lower the legal blood-alcohol content threshold for DWI to 0.05 percent. Over 10,000 deaths occur annually due to DWI crashes. This statistic has remained a stubborn blight on our society.
Powerful resistance to A2302 is led by the restaurant and alcohol industries, which argue that reducing the BAC level would adversely effect profits for restaurants and bars.
According to the NTSB, most of the countries that have a 0.05 or lower BAC standard also have higher alcohol consumption per capita than the U.S., and changing the law hasn’t impacted their alcohol sales. Remove Intoxicated Drivers [RID] has been advocating to lower the BAC threshold ever since Surgeon General C. Everett Koop recommended the change in 1984. Now, finally, there’s evidence that refutes that claim. Also, the availability of Lyft and Uber in New York allows patrons to enjoy a few drinks while avoiding getting behind the wheel.
Two major studies have reached the same conclusion; lowering the BAC would save hundreds of lives.
Contact your representatives in Albany to support A2302. We should never accept the deaths of fellow citizens as a side-effect of doing business in New York state.
The writer is vice president of Remove Intoxicated Drivers.