Would Lowering the Legal Blood-Alcohol Limit Keep Us Safer?

Over 10,000 people a year die in crashes due to alcohol-impaired driving. To combat the problem, the National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that the states lower the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.05 percent from 0.08 percent.

The recommendation has triggered a serious debate over how much alcohol consumption is “safe” behind the wheel. As Fort Myers injury attorneys, we have seen firsthand that you do not have to be legally drunk to cause a serious accident. Even at levels below 0.08, drivers can experience impaired vision, decreased decision making-ability and delayed motor function.

This is especially true for less experienced drivers, including teens. “Young drivers have a far greater risk differential in the 0.08 to 0.05 range,” said Deborah A. P. Hersman, the board’s chairwoman. “Lowering the legal limit can make people more thoughtful about having the second, third or fourth drink — because every drink raises a driver’s crash risk level exponentially.” Supporters of the change note that most other industrialized nations have a 0.05 threshold.

They also cite statistics showing that drivers with a BAC of 0.05 percent are 38 percent more likely to be involved in an accident than those who have not been drinking. By comparison, drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent are 169 percent more likely. Critics of lowering the legal limit argue that the change would target responsible social drinkers but do nothing to deter hard-core drinkers.

However, statistics also show that more than 90 percent of those involved in fatal alcohol-related crashes have no prior drunk-driving record. Definitely food for thought. Source: New York Times

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys for a free consultation.