STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT:
WASHINGTON, D.C. July 27 – More than 40,000 fatalities occur on our nation’s roads each year, and over 15,000 of those result from alcohol-related accidents. The legislation before Congress to help establish a national legal blood-alcohol limit of .08 BAC is a substantial step in making our nation’s highways safer. Currently 18 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have adopted .08 BAC as the legal limit. These jurisdictions have experienced a reduction in alcohol related traffic deaths by 8 percent.
The safety of the American people is the Administration’s highest priority, and we have worked hard to include this initiative in the Senate Transportation Appropriation Bill. I commend the Senate for passing this legislation that includes the .08 BAC provision. The thousands of mothers, members of MADD and other safety advocates also deserve special praise for all they have done to promote sensible measures that help reduce drunk driving. By adopting uniform drunk driving standards, hundreds of lives can be saved each year, and thousands of injuries can be prevented. That is why I urge Congress to make a lower national legal blood-alcohol limit the law of the land.