Sample Letter to Congress in
Support of a .08 BAC
The Honorable ____________________
I urge you to support the .08 BAC provision included in the Senate Department of Transportation Appropriations Bill (S.2720) that will soon go to the House-Senate Conference. The provision requires States to adopt a .08 blood alcohol content law for drunk driving, or lose highway funding starting in fiscal year 2004.
1) If adopted by all States, this law will save 500-600 lives per year in alcohol-related highway deaths (Hingson et al., 1996).
2) Alcohol-related crashes cost society over $45 billion every year. Just one alcohol-related fatality is estimated to cost society about $950,000. Each alcohol-related injury averages around $20,000 (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1999).
3) The relative risk of being killed as a driver in a single crash at .08 BAC was found to be 13 times that at .00 BAC for drivers aged 21 to 34. Each .02-percentage point increase in the BAC of a driver more than doubled the risk of receiving a fatal injury in a single vehicle crash among male drivers 16-20, and nearly doubled the comparable risk for other driver groups (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2000).
Please join numerous Federal agencies, law enforcement organizations, medical and public health groups, and insurance companies in supporting .08 BAC. A vote for the sanctions provision in the Senate bill is a vote to save lives!