On March 2, 2021, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a letter to the editor by Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, former Vice Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and co-founder of the .05 Saves Lives coalition:
“Lowering BAC about driving, not drinking”
At least one third of deaths on Hawaii roads in 2019 were caused by drunk driving. Lawmakers have an opportunity to reduce these preventable tragedies by enacting pending bills (SB 634, SB 754, HB 651) to lower the limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving to .05%. This solution took effect in Utah on December 30, 2018. Early data from 2019 finds the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities dropped 37% in the state. Counter to misinformation and predictions about .05% BAC lobbed by members of the alcohol and hospitality industry during its attempt to defeat the measure, alcohol consumption and tourism went up and arrests for drunk driving decreased in Utah. We urge Hawaii to join Utah and over 90 countries with .05% BAC or lower limits to deter drunk driving. Not every vote the legislature takes this session will save lives, but this one clearly would.
Catherine Chase, President
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Honorable T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Former Vice Chair
National Transportation Safety Board
Co-founder, .05 Saves Lives Coalition