Press Releases (Page 18)

  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer runs ABI Letter to the Editor criticizing government drunk driving study

    A new study grabbed headlines this week and had editorial pages buzzing with anxiety about drunk drivers ("Study finds driving under the influence trends North," April 23).However, a closer look at the survey reveals that this so-called study doesn't actually tell us anything about how many people are driving drunk. The survey asked respondents: "During the past 12 months, have you driven a vehicle while you were under the influence of alcohol?" For a "scientific study," that question is awfully subjective. It makes no distinction between whether the driver was impaired or simply drove after a having a sensible amount of alcohol. [...]

  • USA Today covers ABI’s position in Ignition Interlock debate

    High-tech efforts against drunken driving are intensifying around the USA as more states adopt or consider laws requiring first-time offenders to equip their vehicles with devices that prevent operation by intoxicated people. Federal highway officials and safe driving advocates, noting that crash deaths involving drunken drivers have remained about 32% of all fatalities for the past decade, say the devices are the best way to cut the toll. State legislators are listening. Last month, Washington became the fifth state — joining Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana and New Mexico — to require alcohol-ignition interlocks for anyone convicted of drunken driving. Last week, the Nebraska [...]

  • Another USA Today covers ABI’s position in Ignition Interlock debate

    Belva Howard didn't know that South Carolina had one of the nation's weakest drunken-driving laws or that 40% of traffic deaths in her state involve legally intoxicated drivers. She didn't know that people suspected of driving under the influence could refuse to take a breath test and risk only a three-month license suspension. Howard didn't know -- until her husband was killed in 2002 by Jerry James Carruth, a man whose blood-alcohol level was three times the legal driving limit, a man who'd already been convicted of drunken driving seven times. "I was absolutely in utter shock and amazement," she says. [...]

  • Restaurant Trade Association Urges Governor Palin to Veto Breathalyzer Bill

    WASHINGTON – Today the American Beverage Institute (ABI) denounced legislation awaiting Governor Palin’s signature that would mandate the installation of breathalyzers in the cars of low-BAC (blood alcohol concentration) first-time offenders. The ABI further advocated in favor of targeting the high-BAC drivers and repeat offenders, who comprise the core of today’s drunk driving problem. “By mandating breathalyzers for first time offenders, regardless of their BAC level, HB19 ignores the root cause of today’s drunk driving problem—hard core alcohol abusers,” said ABI spokeswoman Sarah Longwell. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the average BAC of a drunk driver in [...]

  • California Breathalyzer Bill Fails to Target Real Drunk Driving Problem

    WASHINGTON – Today the American Beverage Institute (ABI) denounced ignition interlock bill AB2784 which would mandate the installation of breathalyzers in the cars of low-BAC (blood alcohol concentration) first-time offenders. During testimony yesterday in front of the California State Assembly, ABI managing director, Sarah Longwell, opposed AB2784 saying, "We believe that this bill denies judicial discretion and ignores proportional response by mandating ignition interlock devices for low-BAC, first-time offenders." The ABI further advocated in favor of targeting the high-BAC drivers and repeat offenders, who comprise the core of today’s drunk driving problem. “By mandating breathalyzers for first-time offenders who may have has as little [...]

  • Nebraska Legislature approves ignition locks for drunken drivers

    LINCOLN - First- and second-offense drunk drivers would be required to drive cars equipped with ignition interlock devices under a measure given 43-0 final approval Tuesday by the Legislature. The devices prevent motorists from starting their cars if they have alcohol on their breath. Legislative Bill 736, introduced by State Sen. Tony Fulton of Lincoln, now goes to Gov. Dave Heineman. His office said Heineman hadn't yet decided whether to sign it into law. However, in an unusual move, the Governor's Office sent the bill back to lawmakers late Tuesday after noticing a language error. The mistake pertained to the indigents' fund for [...]

  • DUI proposal’s restrictive nature alarming

    Alaska fines a driver speeding 5 mph over the limit $40. A driver caught speeding 20 mph over can owe more than $240. The rest of the state's traffic offenses follow the same theme: The severity of the crime determines the severity of the punishment. But a bill before the state Legislature aims to change that. As with speeders, there's a big difference between a person driving after two drinks and a drunk who drives after 10. However, proposed legislation would force Alaska judges to ignore that difference. They would have to punish drivers charged with driving just a sip over the [...]

  • Will cars regulate our drinks?

    SOME Pennsylvania counties fine a driver speeding 5 mph over the limit $35. A driver caught speeding over 20 mph owes more than $65. The rest of the state's traffic offenses follow the same theme: The severity of the crime determines the severity of the punishment. But a new bill before the state Legislature aims to change that. There's a big difference between a person driving after two drinks and a drunk who drives after 10. However, proposed legislation would force Pennsylvania judges to ignore that difference and punish drivers charged with driving just a sip over the limit with [...]

  • DUI checkpoints not effective, or cheap

    Costa Mesa police spent a lot of officers’ time and taxpayers’ money Tuesday to arrest zero drunk drivers out of 289 cars stopped and inconvenienced at a DUI checkpoint (“2 vehicles towed, 11 drivers cited at DUI checkpoint,” March 26). In the fight to get drunk drivers off the roads, California law enforcement agencies would likely make far more arrests if they spent their available patrol time roaming the streets looking for drunk drivers, rather than standing at roadblocks waiting for these drivers to come to them. Because they are highly visible by design and publicized in advance, roadblocks are all too [...]

  • Lawmakers consider DUI breathalyzer bill

    State lawmakers took up a bill today to crack down on first-time drunk driving offenders -- it would install breathalyzers in their cars. A recent study says the move would save lives and money, but at least one group opposes it. Victor Figueroa installs smart start interlock devices in cars. One long exhale and the car will either start or not. it all depends on how much the driver has had to drink. "If you are at a non passing level then it locks you out of your vehicle and your not allowed to start it," said Victor Figueroa from DVS Kustoms. A bill [...]