Drunk driving accidents are unfortunate and life-altering for both the victims and the driver. Despite many states implementing programs to reduce drinking and driving, there are still numerous injuries and deaths around the country linked to alcohol.
CNN recently reported that the common 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC) cutoff, used in most states, is not effective enough. About 10,000 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes each year, causing many transportation safety investigators to call for stricter guidelines.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommended in May that all 50 states adopt a BAC cutoff of 0.05.
The idea for a tighter standard is part of a safety board initiative outlined in a staff report and approved by the panel to eventually eliminate drunk driving, which accounts for almost a third of all road deaths in the U.S.
Although progress has been made over the years to reduce drunk driving, through a range of federal and state policies, tougher law enforcement, and stronger advocacy, too many people are still dying on America’s roads.
According to the safety board, cutting the rate to 0.05 instead of 0.08 would save about 500 to 800 lives annually.
Currently, a 180-pound male will typically hit the 0.08 threshold after four drinks consumed over an hour. That same person could reach the 0.05 mark after two or three drinks over the same period.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigates transportation accidents and advocates on safety issues. It cannot impose its will through regulation, but can recommend changes to federal and state agencies or legislatures.
As the lawmakers in Washington try to sort out this issue, please remember to be smart when drinking and give the keys to someone else.
If you are ever in the unfortunate situation of being in motor vehicle accident involving alcohol, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.