STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT: .08 Blood Alcohol Content
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                     September 19,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     A new study released today by Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater
   underscores the need for Congress to act swiftly to strengthen
   protections against drunk driving.

        The study by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National
   Highway Transportation Safety Administration makes clear that crucial
   driving skills are seriously impaired when an individual?s blood alcohol
   content (BAC) reaches .08.  Simply put, this study lends further proof
   that at .08, a person is too impaired to get behind the wheel.  To help
   stem drunk driving and other safety hazards, the Department is releasing
   nearly $44 million in highway safety grants to 38 states and the
   District of Columbia. These grants will provide important incentives for
   states to save lives through tough programs and penalties to reduce
   drunk driving and increase seat belt use.

        But we must do more to make our streets and highways safer. In the
   Transportation Appropriations conference report, Congress has the
   opportunity right now to save an estimated 500 lives a year by setting a
   nationwide standard of .08 BAC.  The Senate courageously passed this
   life-saving measure in June thanks to the leadership of Senators
   Lautenberg and Shelby.  I urge the Congress to send me a final bill that
   helps make .08 BAC the law of the land without further delay.


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