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Barring industry members weakens fight against drunk driving, NBWA charges.

Barring industry members weakens fight against drunk driving, NBWA charges

The deliberate exclusion of licensed beverage industry representatives from membership in a new anti-drunk driving organization will make the eradication of impaired driving even more difficult, according to National Beer Wholesalers' Assn. president Ronald Sarasin.

Sarasin's charge was contained in a letter to Dr. Alexander wagenaar, chairman, National Coalition to Prevent Impaired Driving (NCPID). The NCPID is a new group formed in response to the recommendations of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's 1988 Workshop on Drunk Driving, an event widely criticized as an attempt to extend the anti-alcohol views of a small minority.

According to Sarasin, Wagenaar has been quoted as stating that prospective members of NCPID "will be screened to prevent the influence of the alcoholic beverage industry" on the grounds that "well-intentioned efforts to pursue health and safety policies get subverted when the alcoholic beverage industry or its surrogates become involved."

The vast majority of people who derive their living from the production, distribution and sale of licensed beverages, Sarasin continued, are determined to insure that such products are not abused in terms of impaired driving or any other way. Those people spend millions of dollars and countless hours of personal time each year trying to reduce drunk driving, he said.

"We at NBWA want to continue our cooperative efforts," Sarasin concluded. "Unfortunately, discriminating against the very peopl who have a proven track record and considerable expertise in dealing with this problem by your new organization will only hamper the progress you and we have made to date in fighting drunk driving."
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Title Annotation:National Beer Wholesalers Association
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Apr 16, 1990
Words:267
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