Posted: February 24, 2010 in Victim's Rights
Tags: , ,

Judiciary Committee

Nebraska Unicameral

February 24, 2010

LB 1075 – Support

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed., MADD State Executive Director

 Chairman Ashford and members of the committee, on behalf of MADD our members, victims and survivors, I am here to support Legislative Bill 1075.  MADD would like to see Nebraska join the other 42 states that currently have some component of a Dram Shop Law in place in their state. MADD supports LB 1075 as a measure to ensure equitable treatment from state to state for victims impacted by an alcohol-related crash.

Research clearly shows that when this law is implemented lives are saved. In 2001, researchers found a 5.8 percent decrease in fatal crashes from dram shop liability laws.* Researchers discerned that establishments found it was in the best economic interests to ensure solid and responsible serving practices.

 For Nebraska, a 5 percent decrease would mean approximately 3 lives saved.  It may seem cliché but at MADD we know that the legislative body repeatedly states that if “they can save one life it is worth our work as a body” to ensure the quality of life in the state of Nebraska.  Well the Unicameral, collectively, has an opportunity not only to save one life but three lives.  Three families will be spared the pain of losing a provider, a mentor and a caregiver.  We cannot put a financial dollar to what it means to have your loved one killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash. However, we can ensure that there is a means to recover damages when an establishment fails to follow the law as prescribed in the Nebraska Liquor Control Act.

 MADD knows, all too well, patrons are over served. Those very patrons then make the choice to get behind a wheel of 2,000 bullet and drive!

Nationwide, the median BAC (blood alcohol content) for alcohol-related traffic deaths is .17.  In Nebraska, there were a little more than 13,660 arrests in 2008 (NOHS). Research shows us that of those arrests, approximately one-third tested with a BAC of .15 or higher.  This is clearly not social drinking and is well past the point of intoxication.

 LB 1075 would provide for recourse for victims impacted by an alcohol-related crash.  Recourse that is already allowed in 42 others states in the United States.

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