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Lowering the BAC to Help Prevent MA Drunk Driving Accidents

If the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has its way, the legal BAC limit in the U.S. will no longer by .08 percent. According to NBC NEWS, officials are trying to drop the legal threshold to .05 percent.
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What officials are trying to do is to get states to lower that BAC. They say that a .05 BAC still is at a level in which a driver’s vision can be affected and the risks for an accident can be drastically increased. With a lower legal BAC, officials say that drivers will be less likely to get behind the wheel because there is more of a chance of them exceeding that limit. Others argue that this new lowering is going to do nothing to stop the hardcore drunk drivers — the ones who seemingly have no regard for the law.

Our Boston drunk driving injury lawyers understand that no driver should consume any amount of alcohol and get behind the wheel. With each and every sip, your risks for an accident skyrocket. And it’s these kinds of accidents that take the lives of close to 10,000 people every year, also injuring more than 150,000 motorists. These are all completely avoidable, too. Yes, that’s a huge improvement from the 20,000 or so that were killed in these kinds of accidents 30 years ago, but it’s still a huge problem.

According to recent studies, about 4 million people say that they’ve driven under the influence of alcohol. And those are only the ones who openly admitted to it in a survey. Some say that the true number is much higher.

The recommendation for lowering the BAC level isn’t sitting well with everyone — especially those with restaurant trade groups. They’re arguing that drivers’ behavior would criminalize what they believe is perfectly responsible behavior, almost taking our rights away to have a few brews after work and drive home.

“Further restricting the moderate consumption of alcohol by responsible adults prior to driving does nothing to stop hardcore drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel,” said American Beverage Institute’s managing director, Sarah Longwell.

The U.S. is only one among a small number of countries that has kept the BAC level at .08 percent. Most countries are already operating under a .05 percent maximum law.

When Australia decided to make the move and drop the level from .08 to .05, officials reported a near 20 percent drop in the number of traffic fatalities.

But will it help here in the U.S. and more importantly here in Massachusetts?

According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 150 people killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in 2011. These kinds of accidents accounted for roughly 40 percent of all traffic accidents fatalities throughout the year.

Officials with the NTSB hope that a lower legal BAC limit would help to deter intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one was involved in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Drunk Drivers a Focus in Stoughton, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, May 3, 2013

Drunk Driving Arrests Rarer in Boston?, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, April 10, 2013