The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Less drinking and driving saves lives

Ed Staley, left, and Tali Bruce, right, attend a rally concerning the DUI threshold at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City in 2017. (Rick Bowmer/Associated Press)
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I was surprised that the Feb. 20 news article about the lifesaving 0.05 blood alcohol content (BAC) law in Utah, “Study shows Utah’s tougher DUI law made roads safer,” included a reference to the attractive but terribly misleading American Beverage Institute ad. Not one claim this group made has come true. Instead, business has gone up, arrests have gone down and, most important, lives have been saved. There are even fewer high-BAC drivers on the road.

Unethical lobbyists who try to delay this lifesaving law are causing more people to die needlessly. The delay tactics reek of desperation. Most Americans want this law. Families through such groups as California’s Liam’s Life and New York’s RID USA are fighting these paid lobbyists who try to bamboozle the hospitality industry and the American people.

When I was vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, I was proud of our work to advance transportation safety, including preventing drinking and driving. I now volunteer with the “.05 Saves Lives” Coalition, chaired by Norman Y. Mineta, to provide evidence to help every U.S. state and territory prevent drinking and driving. Let’s not wait for more preventable tragedies to occur in our nation. Let’s start saving lives now.

T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Ottawa

The writer is a senior adviser to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and the FIA Foundation.