DWI Laws Reducing Child Deaths, Says CDC
The rate of alcohol-related deaths of children has fallen 26% from 0.95 deaths for every 100,000 children in 1985 to 0.70 in 1996, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Associated Press, "Drunken Drivers' Toll Of Children Is Receding," Washington Post, December 5, 1997, p. A29; Associated Press, "DWI Laws Add to Child Safety," Houston Chronicle, December 5, 1997).
CDC reported on December 3 that the rate of children walking who were killed by drunken drivers fell 51% from 0.39 in 1985 to 0.19 in 1996 per 100,000 children. For children riding bicycles, the rate killed by drunken drivers fell 63% from 0.24 in 1985 to 0.09 in 1996 per 100,000 children. Alcohol-intoxicated drivers killed 8,344 children over the period from 1985 to 1996.
CDC credits the declines to tougher DWI laws and enforcement. Thirty-three states have a legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.10%, while 15 states have set the legal BAC to 0.08%. Twenty-one states have laws making it a separate offense to drive intoxicated with children in the car.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30333, Tel: (404) 639-3311.