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June 1962

Tipsy and Drunken Drivers

Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;75(6):485. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740040500001

Otolaryngologists, frequently called upon to repair facial fractures and lacerations from automobile injuries, have taken a keen interest in methods of prevention. Fletcher D. Woodward, as Chairman of the A.M.A. Committee on Medical Aspects of Automobile Crash Injuries and Death, has been instrumental in advocating seat belts as standard equipment in all automobiles to lessen the severity of crash injuries.1 Even more important than seat belts is the prevention of a crash in the first place. Studies in America and abroad have demonstrated that the drinking driver is responsible for the majority of fatal accidents, and the greatest number of killers at the wheel are the so-called moderate drinkers.2

A recent law adopted in Massachusetts provides that "in prosecutions for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, evidence of the percentage of alcohol in the blood of the defendant shall be admissible and create