State officials have mailed every bar and restaurant in the state a poster this holiday season that urges Iowans to be aware of the state’s new, tougher drunken driving law. Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Techau says five-thousand posters were sent to remind Iowans there’s a new law and to spur conversation during the holiday season about “being careful when you choose to drink.” The standard for judging drunken driving is now point-oh-eight blood alcohol content, and Techau says it’s proven effective at reducing drinking and driving. Techau says it’s what they predicted, and they’re pleased. Governor Tom Vilsack today tied a red ribbon on his official vehicle and his family car as public reminders of the dangers of drinking and driving. Vilsack says every 29 minutes, an American is killed because of drunk or drugged driving. In Iowa, over 100 Iowans lost their lives in alcohol- or drug-related accidents. Bill Shackelford of the Polk County Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter says when “MADD” was formed in 1980, almost 30-thousand Americans died each year in drunk driving accidents. Today, about 18-thousand Americans die annually in drunk driving wrecks. Shackelford says a survey has found that 80 percent of Americans recognize the red ribbons as a MADD campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.
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