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The American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association, had no immediate comment on the study Monday. The organization's Web site promotes efforts to apprehend and penalize drunk drivers, but also notes voluntary server training and other efforts by restaurants to discourage drunk driving.
The CDC study was based on a telephone survey done in 2003 and 2004, and some things have changed since then. Drunk driving fatalities have decreased, dropping nearly 10 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There have also been a variety of efforts to reduce drunk driving including court-mandated devices that prevent a car from starting if a driver is drunk.
But most efforts focus on punishing the driver and not preventing drunk driving by focusing on those who enable it.
"The drinking location is really important," said Naimi. "We're trusting these licensed establishments to serve responsibly, and more than half of the intoxicated people who drive have been drinking in these places."
A follow-up survey in 2008 found the situation hadn't changed, he added. Those results haven't yet been released.
On the Net:
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine: http://www.ajpm-online.net/
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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