National Transportation Safety Board Proposes Lowering Legal BAC Level

William E. Johnson
New York Times
June 3, 2013

Florida law currently allows drivers to have up to a .08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). However, studies show that even minuscule amounts of alcohol can impair a driver’s response time and ability to drive.

Even though drunk driving deaths have greatly declined over the past three decades, drunk driving is still an epidemic. About 10,000 people die in the U.S. each year from alcohol related accidents. Because of this the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently recommended that all states lower their acceptable BAC levels to .05.

The NTSB believes that reducing the acceptable BAC level to .05 will allow states to enjoy reductions in DUI deaths that several European countries experienced after reducing their BAC levels from .08 to .05. One major problem with the current standard is that although some individuals may be able to drive without significant impairment, alcohol can affect different people in significantly different degrees.

For example, young drivers are especially prone to alcohol related accidents. According to NTSB officials reducing the legal BAC level will greatly reduce the risk of fatal crashes for adults under the age of 26. According to NTSB 21% of young drivers involved in a fatal accident have some amount of alcohol in their system. After several European countries reduced their BAC levels fatal alcohol related accidents fell by 8-12 % in 18-49 year olds.

Although reducing the BAC level may seem counterintuitive when you consider that most fatal accidents occur when drivers have much higher BAC levels, the statistics show that dropping acceptable BAC levels has a significant impact. Further, over 100 countries, including 25 of 27 EU member states, have established a .05 BAC level. Dropping the BAC level in itself will not solve the problem of drunk driving accidents, but NTSB believes it will help.

If you or someone close to you has been injured by a drunk driver contact an experienced West Palm Beach driving under the influence injury attorney. The attorneys of the Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A. are DUI accident injury experts. To learn more about how you can get the compensation and justice you deserve call 561-832-4848 today.

Source: Hannah Fairfield, Young Drivers and Alcohol: A Deadly Mix, The New York Times (May 27, 2013).