By: Sean Chalaki
Share This Post
Personal Injury Lawyer Explains: Tougher DUI laws recommended nationwide
Today the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that all 50 states lower the legally drunk threshold from 0.08 blood-alcohol content to 0.05. The agency believes lowering the limit would save about 500 to 800 lives every year across the nation.
Alcohol-related car accidents currently kill approximately 10,000 people every year in the United States. Furthermore, drunk driving is the cause of about a third of all traffic deaths.
At the current 0.08 blood alcohol limit, a study showed a 180-pound male will typically hit that threshold after downing four drinks in an hour’s time. If that limit is lowered, that same person will hit the new 0.05 threshold after two or three drinks in an hour. Of course, many factors such as weight and gender affect an individual’s blood alcohol level.
The NTSB cannot institute new laws. However, the agency does carry a lot of influence on matters of public safety and regularly recommends changes in policy to Congress and state legislatures after collecting and analyzing nationwide facts and data.
The board also recommended stricter laws allowing officers to confiscate licenses from drivers at the time of arrest if the driver is under the influence or refuses to take the blood alcohol test.
In the early 1980s, the maximum blood-alcohol content was 0.15 when alcohol related road deaths were approximately 20,000. Since the limit was lowered to 0.08, the deaths have been cut in half to 9,878 in 2011.
The NTSB said even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers’ ability to concentrate on the roads. At 0.01, drivers in simulators already demonstrated attention problems and lane deviations. At 0.02, drivers already exhibit drowsiness.
The agency chose the timing of the recommendation to coincide with the deadliest alcohol-related accident in the history of the nation. On May 14, 1988, a drunk driver hit a school bus near Carrollton, Kentucky, killing 24 children and three adults. Another 34 were injured in the horrific crash.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, Dallas accident attorney Sean Chalaki can help. Contact him at the Law Office of Sean Chalaki at 972-793-8500.