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Study opposes new BAC legislation.

A new study commissioned by the American Beverage Institute (ABI) concluded that reducing the legal blood alcohol content standard (BAC) is not an effective means for influencing driver behavior or attitudes.

Conducted by Dr. David Moore of the University of New Hampshire, the study found that the BAC would have virtually no effect on high risk drivers who admitted in the survey that they may have driven while intoxicated in the past year. According to the findings, less than 1 percent of those drivers said they'd be deterred from driving while intoxicated if the current BAC limit were lowered.

Moore's study also found that lowering BAC levels is the least effective strategy of five measures commonly proposed to influence drivers' behavior. The study reported that the most effective tool for preventing drunk driving is license revocation, followed by mandatory jail sentence or fines. Least effective are increasing the cost of alcohol through excise taxes and lowering the permissable BAC. Richard Berman, executive director of the ABI, complimented the combined "efforts by public safety officials, anti-drunk-driving groups, as well as the beverage producing and retail industries which have produced real progress in preventing drunk driving."

"However," Berman continued, "future gains may be more difficult now that responsible social drinkers have been educated about the risks of drunk driving. Future policy making must be targeted and effective in reaching those who will not respond to simple changes in our country's current laws. "
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Title Annotation:blood alcohol content
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Sep 7, 1992
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