The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently suggested a lower standard for drunk driving. Among other recommendations, the NTSB stated that the legal intoxication limit should be lowered from .08 percent to .05 percent. This recommendation is part of the board’s “Reaching Zero” campaign for the purpose of ending drunk driving for good.
According to the NTSB, there are 10,000 people killed every year by drunk drivers. This statistic is down significantly from where it was at ten years ago, but 10,000 annual victims is still unacceptable. The NTSB also suggests implementing ignition interlock device (IID) installation for first time offenders, rather than as a penalty only for repeat or aggravated offenders.
Many argue that lowering the BAC will do little to decrease the total number of drunk driving deaths, saying that it is typically the higher BAC drivers that cause the fatal accidents. This is true. Usually, those with a blood alcohol content much higher than .08 percent cause drunk driving fatalities. Proponents of the NTSB’s recommendation answer back that legislation should be enacted to prevent these higher-BAC drivers in addition to lowering the national limit to .05 percent.
Research is beginning to reveal that the most dramatic spike in a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle happens at .05 percent, rather than .08 percent. With our current laws, a 180-pound man can get behind the wheel and legally drive after having four drinks in one hour’s time. Statistics show that it takes much less alcohol than this to impair a driver’s ability.
The St. Louis personal injury and car accident attorneys at Fox Goldblatt & Singer PC support attempts to eliminate drunk driving accidents. Victims of DUI accidents typically suffer from serious injuries and emotional damage. Drunk driving laws should be more strictly enforced in addition to implementing new, more severe restrictions.
The NTSB cannot make laws; it can only make suggestions based on research. This organization is charged with researching major transportation accidents in the United States such as aviation, rail and motor vehicle collisions. Based on their findings, the organization will make recommendations to state and federal lawmakers.
Drunk driving fatalities account for 31 percent of all traffic fatalities each year. Between the years 1982 and 2011, drunk driving fatalities were more than cut in half, due no doubt in part toward .08 percent BAC restrictions that were implemented during this period. Should the BAC be lowered yet again, the U.S. may see even more of a drop in DUI accidents and fatalities.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a St. Louis car accident attorney from our firm. Fox Goldblatt & Singer can fight to see that you get maximum compensation for the injuries and trauma you suffered.