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Ralph Hingson

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Embedded ImageRalph W Hingson, ScD, MPH is a Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). Since 2001 he served as Associate Dean for Research and from 1986–2000 he was Professor and Chair of the BUSPH Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. Publications by Dr Hingson and colleagues in the early and mid-1990s helped stimulate passage of federal legislation that provided incentives for all states to make it illegal for drivers under 21 to drive after any drinking. Dr Hingson is a researcher whose work has inspired legislative efforts against drinking and driving.

His more recent studies on the relationship between blood alcohol levels and automobile accidents has factored into proposals in many states to lower the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08%—now passed by all 50 states. He has also evaluated comprehensive community interventions to reduce alcohol impaired driving.

Dr Hingson serves as a member of the Committee on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety for the National Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Advisory Council of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He has served as National Vice President for Public Policy for MADD and for seven years on their National Board of Directors. Dr Hingson helped to develop MADD’s Rating the States program which grades national and state efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug impaired driving.

In recognition of his research contributions, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation honored Dr Hingson in 2001 with its Innovators Combating Substance Abuse Award. In 2002, he received the Widmark Award, the highest award bestowed by the International Council on Alcohol Drugs and Traffic Safety, of which he is currently President-Elect. In 2003, MADD instituted the Ralph W Hingson Research in Practice Annual Presidential Award, with Dr Hingson honored as its first recipient.

In the past year, he has joined the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as the Director of their Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research.