The American Beverage Institute is calling on police to forgo holiday DUI checkpoints in favor of more effective alternatives.
According to ABI's managing director Sarah Longwell, "Sobriety checkpoints have been proven ineffective at stopping drunk drivers." Longwell goes on to say that "roadblocks target moderate drinkers instead of hard core alcohol abusers", the "root cause of today's drunk driving problem.
What is the American Beverage Institute? According to its website, the
ABI is a "Washington D.C. restaurant trade association that protects
the on-premise dining experience and defends the right to drink
moderately and responsibly prior to driving." In a nutshell, it's an
association of restaurants that want to keep America drinking ... in
For instance, the responsiblelimits.com website
(funded by ABI) states that most alcohol-related traffic fatalities
occur when the drunk driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of about
.19 percent (the legal limit is .08 percent BAC).
also states that "numerous studies have shown that a driver operating a
vehicle while using a hands-free cell phone is more dangerous than a
driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent BAC. Distracted
driving, especially texting while driving, is responsible for an
ever-increasing proportion of traffic deaths."
In that spirit,
the ABI would like the police to stop with the roadblocks. Ironically,
the police might just agree on that point. We asked the City of Miami
Police Department if they were planning any sobriety checkpoints for
Labor Day weekend.
"Nothing that I'm aware of," said public information officer Kenia Reyes, "and I would have gotten notification by now."
before you think the po-po is giving you permission to drink up and
have a good time, the police will still be out and about. And
Reyes has some sage wisdom if you want to have a happy and incident-free
"As we always say, if you drink you have three options. You can surrender your car keys, you can call a friend, or call a cab."
asked Reyes if there's any legal gray-area where you can drink
and drive. She said that because of the way alcohol works differently on
everyone based on age, body weight, and other factors, that she would
rather not comment except to say, "better to avoid a problem, than to
If you are drinking, AAA is offering a free,
confidential Tow-and-Go service this weekend to both members and
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non-members. The 24-hour service is available from August 31 to
September 3. Call 1-800-AAA-HELP and a tow truck will give you and your
car a ride home (within 10 miles).