In the battle against drunk driving, not all states are making the grade. So says the citizen advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
MADD, which lobbies for tough penalties against those who drink and drive, gives its highest marks to states that have passed laws to crack down on drunken drivers and that have seen alcohol-related traffic accidents drop over the past four years.
The group has urged states to adopt a "zero-tolerance standard" for drivers under age 21 and to redefine the standard used to determine whether, in the eyes of the law, a driver is drunk.
The MADD survey found "pronounced" improvement in alcohol-related deaths on the highway, which dropped 20 percent between 1990 and 1994. "But in 1995, there was ... a 4 percent increase in traffic deaths involving alcohol," the group found. "The 1995 increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths indicates that progress may already be in jeopardy."