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April 23, 1997

Alcohol-Impaired Driving: The Family's Tragedy and The Public's Health-Reply

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Ga
Harvard School of Public Health Boston, Mass
San Diego State University San Diego, Calif

JAMA. 1997;277(16):1280. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540400030024

In Reply.  —Dr Templeton's story emphasizes the personal tragedy and the unacceptable and preventable loss of life that all too often result from alcohol-impaired driving, and we agree with him that driver record systems need to be improved to facilitate states' sharing information on offenses for DUI. A similar recommendation was made by participants in the Surgeon General's Workshop on Drunk Driving1 and by a national panel of experts on alcohol-impaired driving convened by the US Department of Transportation.2 In addition to improving driver record systems, we need to enact stricter laws against alcohol-impaired driving, including lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.08 g/dL (17.37 mmol/L) or less3 for drivers aged 21 years and older, as well as promptly suspending the licenses of drivers arrested for DUI. Furthermore, because alcohol-impaired driving is common among underage youth, we need to strictly enforce the minimum drinking age and enact zero-tolerance