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Will Low-Alcohol Beers Reduce Drunk Driving Accidents?

According to a recent news feature from Medical Daily, a new study published in the Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, alcohol consumption is reducing worldwide, and this may be a result of newer low alcoholic beers now popular on the market.

Our hope is that if people are drinking less, there will be less drunk driving incidents, which in turn will result in less drunk driving accidents and fewer alcohol-related fatalities.

beergardenThe data was derived from a Canadian organization that studies addiction and mental health. Their claim was that drinking beer with lower ethanol content would mean that people will have a lower blood alcohol content (BAC) in their respective blood streams, and this will result in less drunk driving accidents.

As result of this study, some consumer groups are asking the world’s largest alcoholic beverage producers to essentially dilute their products so that it will be safer for everyone in terms of drunk driving incidents and also health issues related to alcohol abuse.  However, this seems unlikely that the beverage makers would agree to do this, since they are making billions of dollars. As we have previously seen with the cigarette industry, producers were very much resistant to making any changes that would result in a loss of profits.

While this may be true, it would mean that people have drink the same amount of beer as they would with the higher alcohol beers and simply be less intoxicated.  The problem, as noted in the article is that many of the people interviewed for the article said they generally drink to get intoxicated and will drink more if the beer is low alcohol.

Also, as our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers are seeing in our area, there is an increasing trend toward India Pale Ale or American India Pale Ale style beers that are known for having a significantly higher alcohol by volume (ABV) than beers that were popular a decade ago, so the trend appears to be the opposite of what this study suggests.  It is possible that people are drinking less of these high alcohol brews, but the BAC may be higher, and that is the number that we need to look at in terms of fatal drunk driving crashes.

Another thing to look at is what exactly it means to have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams per hundred milliliters of blood and what it does not mean.  It does mean that are you legally intoxicated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but it does not mean that you cannot be actually intoxicated with a blood alcohol content level much lower than 0.08 grams.  We have seen cases where a defendant only had a single beer or glass of wine and he or she was clearly under the influence of intoxicating liquor at the time of a serious motor vehicle accident and that could be used a basis for a finding of liability.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Low-Alcohol Beers May Reduce Drunk Driving, Drink-Related Injuries And Deaths Worldwide, August 11, 2016, By Samantha Olson, Medical Daily

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Report: Drunk Driving Crash at Daytona International Speedway, April 9, 2016, Boston DUI Accident Lawyer Blog