- The Washington Times - Monday, May 4, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) does not support lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for the general public and does support ignition interlocks and checkpoints for good reason: They save lives and prevent needless injuries caused by drunken driving.

The illegal BAC for the general public is .08 because that is the level at which everyone has been found to be impaired behind the wheel of a vehicle. The .04 level is getting some limited play in the media because some segments of the alcohol industry want Americans to believe MADD strives for no alcohol use whatsoever - which is untrue. That is not our goal. In these tough economic times, all these groups can do for the sake of profit and politics is attack a victim-centered, parent-driven, family-protecting organization that put drunken driving on the map. Unfortunately for us, the map is a lot more crowded than it used to be. We support responsible drinking by those 21 and older, and we think the safest choice is never to drive after drinking.

MADD is hurting during these tough economic times. We understand protecting jobs. We employ people, too. With drunken driving sometimes being perceived as a solved problem, we are working diligently to inform the public that it is not solved when thousands of people die or are injured in the United States in crashes involving alcohol.

MADD is almost 30 years old - old enough to be wise, still young enough to be working hard to improve the quality of life for all Americans. We have helped save more than 330,000 lives since 1980. Roads are safer as a result of our efforts. If the naysayers focused all of their energies on finding the best mechanisms to combat drunken driving - ignition interlocks for convicted drunken drivers and sobriety checkpoints - we would save lives and prevent injuries caused by drunken driving.

LAURA DEAN-MOONEY

National president

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Irving, Texas

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