Uptick in Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities Worries DISCUS

That study we reported Thursday (9/22) that showed alcohol-related traffic fatalities was up 5% in 2021 was just one of several such studies.  And that, said Chris Swonger, president/ceo,  Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. and  Responsibility.org, is extremely concerning.  

"These deaths are 100% preventable," he told Kane's Beverage News Daily.  "DISCUS and Responsibility.org will continue our support for the development and deployment of passive, advanced drunk driving prevention vehicle technology in all new vehicles, ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders, and a more holistic approach to multiple substance impaired driving.”

DISCUS said a statement issued Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board, which many media (including us) interpreted as a call for Breathalyzers in every new car, and by other media as a call for ignition interlocks in every new car, was in fact a plea for "fast implementation of the RIDE Act which was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year."  DISCUS and Responsibility.org support the RIDE Act.  

“The RIDE Act expands the nation’s ongoing efforts to develop effective and unobtrusive automotive technology. The legislation established a regulatory process to test advanced technology, determine its feasibility, and ultimately help ensure installation of this lifesaving technology throughout new vehicles," Swonger told us, adding:

“DISCUS and Responsibility.org are dedicated to eliminating drunk and impaired driving from America’s roadways. We know bold, innovative approaches are required to reduce crashes and save lives.”

NTSB is also pushing for better testing protocols to identify all substances beyond alcohol that may affect driver performance.  A DISCUS spokesperson said DISCUS and Responsibility.org support the agency is that effort.