STATEMENT BY CHRIS SWONGER, PRESIDENT & CEO, DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL OF THE UNITED STATES AND RESPONSIBILITY.ORG, URGING PASSAGE OF RIDE ACT TO PREVENT DRUNK DRIVING
ARLINGTON, Va. – Today, Chris R. Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and Responsibility.org announced support for the bipartisan Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act and applauded the leadership of sponsor Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and lead cosponsor Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) in introducing the bill. Mr. Swonger urged Congress to swiftly pass the legislation, noting it could help eliminate drunk driving by including advanced drunk driving prevention technology into new vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 9,400 lives could be saved each year once this technology is installed in all vehicles.
The RIDE Act would expand the nation’s ongoing efforts to develop effective and unobtrusive automotive technology. The legislation would establish a regulatory process to test advanced technology, determine its feasibility, and ultimately help ensure installation of this lifesaving technology throughout new vehicles.
“DISCUS and Responsibility.org are dedicated to eliminating drunk and impaired driving from America’s roadways,” said Swonger. “We know bold, innovative approaches are required to reduce crashes and save lives. The technology that this legislation would help bring to American automobiles, including alcohol detection technology, camera technology, and driver monitoring systems, is fundamental to preventing impaired driving fatalities in the future.”
Traffic deaths involving drivers impaired by multiple substances are on the rise, according to Swonger—who stated that new technology ultimately may help prevent drunk, drugged, and multiple substance-impaired driving, as well as distracted driving and fatigued driving. The RIDE Act (and its House companion, the HALT Act) would help implement these lifesaving technologies that also address driving behavior for law-abiding citizens.
Responsibility.org is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empowers adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky, LLC; and Pernod Ricard USA. For nearly 30 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit www.Responsibility.org.
About The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.