[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[March 3, 1998]
[Pages 316-317]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks on Signing a Memorandum on Standards To Prevent Drinking and 
March 3, 1998

    The President. Thank you, Brenda, and I 
thank the other members of the Frazier family and the friends who are 
here in support of you. Attorney General Reno, 
Senator Lautenberg, Congresswoman 
Lowey, Senator DeWine, 
Chief Flynn, thank you for your work and your 
support. I thank Secretary Slater, Senator 
Dorgan, Senator Hollings, Senator Moseley-Braun, and 
Congressman McGovern for their presence 
and their support. And I thank the Mothers Against Drunk Driving and 
Students Against Destructive Decisions, the organizations for highway 
safety, all of you who are here in this noble endeavor.
    Let me say that after hearing Brenda Frazier's story, there is very little that needs to be said. 
After seeing the photograph of Ashley, there is very little that needs 
to be seen. Every parent in this country, every single one, who has ever 
put his or her child in a car with someone else to go off to some 
destination, has felt that sense of loss of control, that fear that 
something might happen. Every parent of a teenager has spent some moment 
on every weekend of the teenager's life, when the teenager was out, 
wondering, hoping, and praying that nothing would ever happen.
    To be reminded that these things do happen should be all the 
reminder any Member of Congress or any American ever needs. We've heard 
Brenda's story, but there is hardly a family or community in America 
that hasn't been touched by drunk driving. Senator Dorgan, we thank you especially for being here today, because you 
lost your mother, Dorothy, to a drunk driver. And we know that this is a 
national problem. Senator DeWine reminded us 
that in 1984 President Reagan signed into law 
the legislation to help make 21 the national drinking age. 
Senator Lautenberg fought for that law 
in Congress because he knew that, most of all, our young people were 
    Eleven years later, I was proud to sign into law the zero tolerance 
legislation that is helping to make it illegal for a person under 21 to 
drive in any State after drinking any measurable amount of alcohol, no 
matter what the legal limit is. I say to you, if we win this battle and 
you want to come back for a lower limit, I'll

[[Page 317]]

be glad to stand here with you under those circumstances as well. The 
``Safe and Sober Streets Act'' takes the next step to lower the legal 
limit to .08 in every State. When Congress passes it, I'll sign it. And 
we'll work hard to pass it.
    Today there is something else I'd like to do. I am instructing 
Secretary Slater to report back to me in 45 
days with a plan to make .08 the legal limit on all Federal property, 
from National Parks to military bases, so that the United States can 
lead the way in making .08 the law of the land all over the land.
    Lowering the legal limit to .08 will not prevent adults from 
enjoying alcoholic beverages. But lowering the limit will make 
responsible Americans take even greater care when they drink alcohol in 
any amounts if they intend to drive.
    To people who disregard the lethal threat they pose when they drink 
and drive, lowering the legal limit will send a strong message that our 
Nation will not tolerate irresponsible acts that endanger our children 
and our Nation. We will, meanwhile, continue to do all we can to protect 
our young people from harm, fighting to keep drugs and guns and alcohol 
out of our schools and our children's lives, fighting to shield them 
from the deadly harm of illegal exposure and use of tobacco.
    With the steps we take today, we will build on that progress to help 
to ensure that the lives of Ashley Frazier, Dorothy Dorgan, and 
thousands of others cut short by drunk driving will not have been lost 
in vain.
    Now, in a few moments I want to ask Ashley's classmates who are 
here, members of my Cabinet, and the Members of Congress who are here to 
join me as I sign the Presidential directive on Federal property. But 
before I do, if you will indulge me, because of the action of the United 
Nations Security Council with regard to Iraq and because this is the 
only chance I have to appear before the press and therefore the American 
people today, I would like to make a brief statement.


    The unanimous vote of the United Nations Security Council last night 
sends a clear message. Iraq must fulfill without obstruction or delay 
its commitment to open all of the nation to the international weapons 
inspectors--anyplace, anytime, without any conditions, deadlines, or 
    All the members of the Security Council agree that failure to do so 
will result in severest consequences. The Government of Iraq should be 
under no illusion. The meaning of ``severest consequences'' is clear. It 
provides authority to act if Iraq does not turn the commitment it has 
now made into compliance.
    As the Secretary-General told the Security 
Council yesterday, Iraq's complete fulfillment of these obligations is 
the one and only aim of the agreement. No promise of peace and no policy 
of patience can be without its limits. Iraq's words must be matched by 
deeds. The world is watching.
    Now, I would like to ask Ashley's classmates, the members of the 
Cabinet, and the Members of Congress, as well as Chief Flynn, would you all join us up here now, and 
Brenda, please.

[At this point, the President signed the memorandum.]

    The President. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 2:16 p.m. in the East Room at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Brenda Frazier, mother of Ashley 
Frazier, who was killed by a drunk driver; Edward Flynn, chief of 
police, Arlington County, VA; and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi