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MADD prioritizes TEA-21 reauthorization.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, known as TEA-21, is coming up for reauthorization, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving is pressing legislators to address its agenda. MADD has said it will lobby for increases in the National Traffic Safety Fund, and will fight any attempt to repeal the Federal .08 standard during reauthorization. The group also called underage drinking the nation's "Number one youth drug problem" and advocated an increase in beer excise taxes to match current taxes on distilled spirits, asserting that "higher beer taxes are associated with lower rates of traffic fatalities and youth alcohol consumption."

Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute, said that the beer industry could agree with MADD on issues like locking up hard-core repeat drunk drivers, but said that "brewers part company with MADD on the idea that excise taxes on beer have any role at all in the fight against drunk driving."

Becker said that studies show that increased taxes have little impact on alcohol abusers. "We wouldn't propose mailing a speeding ticket to all licensed drivers just because a minority of drivers speed," Becker said. "It makes as little sense to impose an economic penalty on all beer consumers because a small minority abuses alcohol."
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Title Annotation:Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Transportation Equity Act for the Twenty-First Century of 1998
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 24, 2002
Previous Article:John Murphy, former Miller president, dies at 72.
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