Progress Sought on Drunken Driving Deaths

By JOAN LOWY | May 15, 2013

Transportation safety officials are exploring ways to eliminate drunken driving deaths, which account for about a third of the nation’s more than 30,000 annual traffic fatalities – a share that has remained stubbornly unchanged since the late-1990s.

The National Transportation Safety Board met yesterday to hear recommendations on ways to meet its goal of zero alcohol-related driving deaths.

Experts said at a two-day information-gathering forum the board held last year that dramatic progress was made in the 1980s through the mid-1990s after the minimum drinking age was raised to 21 and the legally allowable maximum level of drivers’ blood alcohol content was lowered to .08.

But they said progress has largely stagnated over the last decade and a half, requiring a fresh approach.

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