Press Releases

  • American Beverage Institute Issues Statement on NTSB Most Wanted List

    This afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its 2017-2018 Most Wanted List advocating for lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.05 or lower, all-offender ignition interlock mandates, more sobriety checkpoints, and an invasive in-vehicle alcohol monitoring technology called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, released the following statement: The NTSB’s most recent list of policy priorities continues to neglect the core of our nation’s drunk driving problem: the overwhelming majority of fatal crashes involving alcohol are caused by severely impaired drivers. The average BAC recorded among impaired drivers is nearly .19 – more than twice the legal limit. By continuing to advocate for [...]

  • American Beverage Institute Issues Statement on Distracted Driving Fatalities

    A new report released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that traffic deaths in the first half of 2016 have increased by 10.4 percent compared to the same period last year. This follows a 7.2 percent increase in the full year 2015 traffic fatalities, a rise driven by the increase in deaths from distracted driving. Fatalities in 2015 from distracted driving—such as texting while driving—increased by over 8 percent, while alcohol impaired driving fatalities rose 3 percent. Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, released the following statement: The double-digit increase in traffic fatalities over the first half of 2016 suggests that the 2015 trend of increased fatal [...]

  • American Beverage Institute Issues Statement on SB 1046

    Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1046, which requires the implementation of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for low blood alcohol content (BAC) and first-time DUI offenders. Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, released the following statement: While the American Beverage Institute supports mandated ignition interlocks for high-BAC and repeat offenders, we do not support the bill that Gov. Brown signed into law today which expands the mandate to first time and low-blood alcohol content (BAC) offenders. In doing so, Governor Brown ignores the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s evaluation of the pilot program, which recommended against expanding the ignition [...]

  • American Beverage Institute’s Statement: MADD’s New 50-State Interlock Report is Misguided

    Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released a 50-state report on ignition interlocks, arguing that the technology should be installed on the car of every convicted drunk driver. Sarah Longwell, Managing Director of the American Beverage Institute, responded to the report: While interlocks are a valuable tool to stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel, MADD’s single-minded approach to reducing recidivism is misguided. MADD’s report fails to account for the fact that expanding state ignition interlock mandates is extremely expensive and places a significant burden on limited stateparole and monitoring budgets—a major problem considering the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates only 15-20 percent of offenders comply withinterlock mandates. That’s why the American Beverage Institute encourages states to reserve interlocks for the high-blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and repeat [...]

  • American Beverage Institute Statement on New Dietary Guidelines Regarding Alcohol Consumption

    Today, the American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association, criticized the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, released today by the Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines state that while up to one standard drink per day for women (7 per week) and up to two drinks per day for men (14 per week) is “moderation,” eight drinks per week for women or 15 drinks per week is “excessive” and increases the risk of chronic disease. Sarah Longwell, Managing Director of the American Beverage Institute, issued the following statement: Recent versions of the Dietary Guidelines have advised Americans of the many health benefits [...]

  • American Beverage Institute Responds to Alcohol-Related Provisions in Highway Bill

    Today, the House is expected to vote on a five-year, $300 billion bill to reauthorize highway funding. Amid the many provisions in the more than 1,000-page bill is language requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to spend $21 million to fund a federal program to develop passive, in-car alcohol sensors. Proponents of the program, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, hope the sensors will eventually be standard in all cars. You can watch NHTSA's video explaining the technology here. The American Beverage Institute strongly opposes requiring alcohol sensing technology as standard equipment in all vehicles. Sarah Longwell, ABI's Managing Director, commented: Spending an additional $21 million in taxpayer money [...]

  • American Beverage Institute Statement on Highway Bill Funding for 24/7 Sobriety Program

    This week, the U.S. House is preparing to vote on a long-term highway bill—legislation used by Congress to promote state policies and programs that crack down on drunk driving. Unfortunately, the current version of the bill simply maintains the status quo rather than offering states new tools and incentives to target the most dangerous drunk drivers. The American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association, supports highway bill language allowing states to receive additional federal highway funding to implement a 24/7 Sobriety Program, rather than requiring offenders to install ignition interlocks. Instead of requiring technology on offenders’ cars (which most offenders never actually [...]

  • American Beverage Institute Responds to NHTSA Plans for Passive Alcohol Sensors in All Cars

    Today, the Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) joined Members of Congress, automakers, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to highlight the technological advances in the Drivers Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program—a partnership between automakers and the federal government to develop passive, in-car alcohol sensors. You can view NHTSA’s video explaining the new technology here. The American Beverage Institute (ABI), a restaurant trade association representing over 8,000 of America’s favorite family restaurants, opposes the DADSS program. ABI Managing Director Sarah Longwell released the following statement: Today, NHTSA, MADD, and major automakers presented what they claim will [...]

  • Recommendation to put in-car breathalyzers in every new vehicle is misguided

    Today, the American Beverage Institute (ABI) responded to a new study out of the University of Michigan advocating in favor of installing alcohol-sensing technology in every car in the U.S. with the following statement by Managing Director Sarah Longwell: The recommendation that all cars should come pre-installed with alcohol detection technology is misguided, and its eye-popping life-saving potential is based on a series of assumptions that are far from reality. First of all, the study assumes that the technology would work 100 percent of the time, which is extremely unlikely. Even if these devices meet Six Sigma standards - i.e., they meet the necessary requirements for widespread installation [...]

  • New Federal Bill Eliminates States’ Authority on Interlock Use

    WASHINGTON – Today the American Beverage Institute (ABI), which represents over eight thousand of America’s favorite family restaurants, criticized new legislation introduced by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), which would require that all 50 states mandate ignition interlocks – in-car breathalyzers – as punishment for low-BAC (blood alcohol concentration), first-time drunk driving offenders. Under “’Alisa’s law,” states would have to either change their laws to significantly expand the number of offenders receiving interlocks by October 1, 2014 or risk losing federal highway funding. Laws mandating ignition interlocks for all offenders deny judges the ability to distinguish between a driver one sip over the limit [...]