Should the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Limit Be Lowered? Here’s the Argument for Stricter Laws
August 8th, 2022|
Even mild alcohol consumption by motorists can potentially prove fatal for drivers and passengers on the road. Stricter laws can save thousands of lives and prevent debilitating injuries to innocent commuters.
At the law firm of Berg Injury Lawyers, a team of knowledgeable attorneys with a proven track record in DUI lawsuits can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
What Are the Effects of Alcohol on a Driver?
Alcohol consumption can have a variety of effects on a driver. These include:
- Impaired judgment
- Slowed reaction times
- Blurred vision
- Impaired coordination
These effects can make it difficult for a driver to operate a vehicle safely. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving accidents account for 30% of all traffic fatalities in the United States.
If you plan to drink, it is essential to designate a sober driver. Ride-sharing services and other public modes of transportation can also provide viable options for those intending to consume alcohol. Otherwise, drunk drivers place themselves and others at risk of severe injury or death.
The Argument Against Stricter BAC Limits
In recent years, there has been a push for lower legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limits. At the same time, there is also an argument by some against stricter BAC laws. Proponents of keeping current BAC limits note that alcohol impairment begins well before the legal limit of 0.08%. The implication is that even if the BAC limit is lowered, many drivers on the road will still be impaired.
In addition, there is a concern that stricter BAC limits could lead to more false positives, as even a small amount of alcohol can put some people over the limit. This could lead to innocent people being pulled over and arrested for DUI, even if they are not impaired.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Despite the argument for maintaining BAC levels at their current percentages, the drunk driving statistics paint a grim picture.
The 11,654 drunk driving fatalities reported in the United States for 2020 correspond to an average of one person dying every 45 minutes from this preventable cause. A 14% increase in the 2019 drunk driving fatalities presents a worrying trend that regulators and concerned citizens believe requires attention.
While the total number of injuries from alcohol-related car accidents is harder to put a number on, the $52 billion in damages and injuries that result annually indicates the scope of the problem. From traumatic brain injury and burns to amputations and paralysis, the severity of injuries from drunk driving accidents cannot be overlooked.
What the Research Shows
The NHTSA estimates that lowering the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit from .08 to .05 would save approximately 500 lives per year in the United States. The estimate is partly based on Utah’s implementation of a .05 BAC limit and its resulting reduction in DUI-related fatalities.
Proponents of stricter DUI laws argue that this is a necessary measure to make our roads safer. They point to statistics showing that drivers with a BAC of .05 are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash than sober drivers.
Additionally, lowering the BAC limit would make it easier for police to catch drunk drivers and deter people from driving after drinking.
What Happens After a Drunk Driving Accident?
After seeking medical attention and contacting law enforcement authorities, the first thing you should do post-collision is contact a personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable car crash lawyer will be able to assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.
You may need to file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver. This can be done through their insurance company or directly through the courts.
If pursuing compensation for your injuries requires litigation, your attorney can gather all relevant medical records and evidence to prove your claim. Cell phone records can be requested via subpoena in the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit if they are deemed relevant to the case.
Even when telecom providers don’t keep the contents of text messages, data about the timing of texts or calls can help provide insights into the cause of a crash.
It’s important to remember that drunk driving accidents are serious, and you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Drunk driving accident victims in California can contact the skilled Sacramento car accident lawyers at Berg Injury. Call our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your case today.