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Beer Institute Responds to Proposal to Redefine Drunk Driving


WASHINGTON, DC – The Beer Institute and its members recognize the severity of drunk driving and have invested in national advertising campaigns and hundreds of programs and initiatives to create awareness and education around solutions to help reduce drunk driving. Many of our members promote programs that offer free rides home or remind legal age consumers to plan ahead for the use of a designated driver. In addition, brewers have developed many partnerships with retailers, law enforcement and traffic safety organizations to help put an end to drunk driving.

While there is still work that needs to be done, in 2011, drunk-driving deaths fell to a record-low—down 53 percent since first measured in 1982—according to data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Over the past five years, there has been a 27 percent decline in drunk driving fatalities.

“There’s no question that there’s more work to be done here,” said president of the Beer Institute, Joe McClain. “But these latest indicators show that our efforts have played an important role in the progress we see today. We will continue to work with retailers, policy makers, law enforcement and communities across the country to reduce those rates to zero. We are committed to responsibility and to keeping our roadways safe.”

“With regard to the NTSB’s recommendation to lower the legal BAC level from .08 to .05, we plan to examine the Board’s full report and recommendations before we comment further,” added McClain. “However, we strongly encourage policymakers to direct their efforts where we know we can get results: by focusing on repeat offenders and increasing penalties on those with BAC of .15 or more.”

To learn more about how America’s brewers and beer importers are committed to responsibility, visit  


The Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: