NTSB Doggedly Pursuing Lower Blood Alcohol Concentration Limits in States
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NTSB Doggedly Pursuing Lower Blood Alcohol Concentration Limits in States

Thursday, April 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Almost all U.S. states limit a driver’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08 g/dL. A BAC level that reaches or exceeds this limitation is presumed to cause impairment in mental and motor skills.

Transportation safety agencies rightfully condemn driving under the influence (DUI), with yearly alcohol-related fatalities in the nation as high as 35%. The campaigns to reduce or eradicate accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers are understandably endless.

Between 2014 and 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) saw a spike of about 3.2% in alcohol-impaired crash deaths. Several measures have already been implemented to reduce alcohol-related accidents. Here are some examples:

  • Strengthening laws on drunk driving;
  • Reinforcing the visibility of sobriety checkpoints; and
  • Improving technologies, such as in-vehicle ignition interlock.

Even with some success of these measures, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is trying to get at the heart of the issue: alcohol consumption. The NTSB is pressing again to tighten the law–to drop the legal BAC limit from 0.08 g/dL down to 0.05 g/dL, or even lower.

The NTSB strongly believes that lowering the BAC limit can make a great difference in reducing alcohol-related crashes. The Board contends that even a low dose of alcohol can cause imbalance in the body’s mechanisms. Thus, even before the current BAC limit is reached, body functions become impaired. As the BAC level approaches the current threshold, the tendency to be involved in crashes doubles.

It is for this reason that the Board is urging advocates of stronger drunk driving standards to conduct new research on the BAC level and its effect on drivers. In this way, existing concepts will be reevaluated and a better action plan supported by science will be laid.

If you or someone you love was injured in a crash in California, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP today at 888.777.1776. We are a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco.

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