Letter

  • Don’t target responsible drinkers

    Rep. Norman Thurston's proposal to lower the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is misguided ("Utah may lower the legal alcohol limit to .05% — a first in the nation," Jan 1). A 120-pound woman could be over the .05 threshold after consuming as little as one drink. Lowering the BAC limit targets moderate and responsible drinkers who pose little risk to traffic safety. In fact, less than 1 percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities are caused by drivers with BACs between .05 to .07, while roughly 70 percent of fatalities are caused by drivers with BACs of 0.15 or above, which is [...]

  • One size doesn’t fit all

    “Let’s enforce Leandra’s Law” (Dec. 18) highlights New York state’s poor 27 percent ignition interlock (in-car breathalyzer) compliance rate. This low rate is partially due to the law targeting all DUI offenders with a one-size-fits-all policy. Hardcore drunks, who are responsible for 70 percent of drunk-driving traffic deaths, are treated the same as first-time offenders one sip over the limit. To increase the compliance rate, traffic safety officials should reconsider this approach of thinly spreading compliance resources among a large pool of offenders. Instead, they should intensify their focus on the most dangerous drunk drivers on the road — high blood-alcohol content and [...]

  • MADD article is flawed

    A recent Hot Springs Village Voice article highlights a report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving that claims to judge states based on their vigor in tackling drunk driving. However, the report uses flawed metrics. MADD's narrative behind two of the categories, specifically, "all-offender interlock law" and "sobriety checkpoints," are riddled with defective arguments. MADD claims that all-offender ignition interlock laws are a major force behind drunk driving reductions, but in reality they make little difference. When comparing alcohol-related fatality rates between the 24 states with all-offender ignition interlock laws and the other 26 who don't have them, there is no difference - [...]

  • Letter to the editor: MADD ratings on efforts to fight drunk driving used flawed arguments

    A Nov. 30 editorial in the Portland Press Herald highlights a report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving that claims to judge states based on their vigor in tackling drunken driving. According to this year’s MADD report, Maine has fallen into the middle of the pack. However, the report uses flawed metrics. MADD’s narrative behind two of the categories, specifically “all-offender interlock law” and “sobriety checkpoints,” are riddled with defective arguments. MADD claims that all-offender ignition interlock laws are a major force behind drunken-driving reductions, but in reality they make little difference. When comparing alcohol-related fatality rates between the 24 states that have all-offender ignition interlock laws [...]

  • MADD report is riddled with defective arguments

    The article "Drinking? Go cold turkey on driving" (Nov. 27) highlights a report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving that claims to judge states based on their vigor in tackling drunk driving. However, the report uses flawed metrics. MADD’s narrative behind two of the categories, specifically, “all-offender interlock law” and “sobriety checkpoints,” are riddled with defective arguments. MADD claims that all-offender ignition interlock laws are a major force behind drunk driving reductions, but in reality they make little difference. When comparing alcohol-related fatality rates between the 24 states with all-offender ignition interlock laws and the other 26 that don’t have them, there is no [...]

  • Letter: MADD distorts reality with its report

    A recent Auburn Citizen article highlights a report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that claims to judge states based on their vigor in tackling drunk driving. However, the report uses flawed metrics. MADD’s narrative behind two of the categories, specifically, “All-offender interlock law” and “Sobriety Checkpoints,” are riddled with defective arguments. MADD claims that all-offender ignition interlock laws are a major force behind drunk driving reductions but in reality they make little difference. When comparing alcohol-related fatality rates between the 24 states with all-offender ignition interlock laws and the other 26 who don’t have them, there is no difference — [...]

  • Ignore the booze-shaming, ladies

    The Hill Last week was Halloween, but the scariest part of the day was Karin Agness’ column telling women to “put down the glass” because we now consume alcohol at levels on par with our male American counterparts. Women have found their footing as equally consenting consumers? Egad. The puritanical thinking reflects a misguided but growing trend against alcohol. Government agencies that have long recommended moderate consumption of alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle are suddenly changing their tune — although moderate alcohol consumption’s ability to mitigate the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes remains the same. Instead, the Centers [...]

  • Headlines shouldn’t be scary for moderate drinkers

    Jacksonville Journal Courier Recent headlines were enough to give even the most ghoulish gals a fright: women are purportedly now consuming just as much alcohol as men, and our imbibing lifestyle allegedly contributes to a significant increase in the risk of breast cancer among young women. But don’t pour your pumpkin beer down the drain just yet – this is one case where the devil is in the details. One would presume if moderate alcohol consumption (one drink per day for women, two for men) had such a strong causative relationship with breast cancer, the association would be obvious historically. This isn’t the [...]

  • Drunken driving bill has significant flaws

    San Jose Mercury News Should a driver going five miles per hour over the speed limit pay the same fine as someone driving 30 miles over the limit? Most would say no -- that the punishment should fit the crime. That's the problem with Senate Bill 1046, which would require all drunken driving offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. After unanimously passing in the Senate, it has moved to the Assembly. Not all drunk drivers are created equal. Roughly 70 percent of alcohol-related fatalities are caused by drivers with extreme blood alcohol levels -- 0.15 or higher. Many [...]

  • Overextending DWI law

    Charlotte News and Observer Regarding the July 24 editorial “Keep DWI proposal”: Your support of proposed legislation requiring every convicted drunk driving offender to install an ignition interlock is misguided. Currently, North Carolina reserves mandatory interlocks for repeat offenders and high-BAC (blood alcohol concentration) first-time offenders at or above 0.15 percent. These offenders cause 70 percent of alcohol-related highway fatalities. S.B. 619 dramatically expands existing requirements. Your editorial oversimplifies the costs of this sweeping extension, suggesting convicted offenders, who pay for interlocks out of pocket, would foot most of the bill. In reality, interlock programs require extensive administrative costs to ensure offenders are [...]