Jones & Swanson

Stricter Blood Alcohol Content Level Requirements Proposed

Approximately 1/3 of all roadway deaths in the United States are caused by drunk driving. Roughly 10,000 citizens die each year in crashes related to alcohol consumption. Those statistics, as well as many others, have motivated the National Transportation Safety Board to suggest stricter requirements of drivers in the United States.

On the second Tuesday of this month, the board advised that each of the 50 states in America should lower their blood-alcohol content level allowance to .05. Currently, the cutoff used by state courts and law enforcement agencies is .08 BAC. The Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Deborah Hersman, suggested that although most people believe the issue of impaired driving has been eradicated, this is not the case. The recommendation for a stricter standard by the NTSB is portion of a safety panel initiative described in a report with goals of ultimately abolishing drunk driving.

Although the number of people injured or killed in drunk driving accidents has significantly decreased over the past few years, many still believe it is possible to continue making roads in the U.S. safer. There is no miracle cure for the issue of driving under the influence, but a combination of stricter state regulations, more involved law enforcement officials, and residents advocating for a solution could improve those numbers even more.

The NTSB board estimated that lowering the acceptable BAC rate from .08 to .05 would save approximately 500 to 800 lives each year.

So what does this change mean for everyday citizens?

An online calculator for blood alcohol levels predicted that the .08 BAC level will be reached by a male weighing 180 pounds after four drinks within one hour. The proposed limit of .05 would be reached after only two or three drinks within an hour, in comparison. The BAC level that one experiences varies greatly depending on that person’s weight, gender, and other factors.

So what do you think? Should the legal blood-alcohol level in Georgia be minimized to .05 from the current .08? We here at Jones & Swanson don’t think it would be a bad idea. It would still allow for a glass of wine at dinner, but would make many who operate a vehicle while under the influence think twice about getting behind the wheel. Simply knowing that the legal limit is so low could potentially cause Georgians to re-evaluate whether they should be driving or not. That hesitation may save lives, and anything that could make metro-Atlanta roads safer is a positive in our eyes.

Our advocacy against drunk driving in Georgia stems from experience in accidents caused by drivers under the influence. Attorney Andrew Jones has represented multiple clients who were significantly injured as a result of a drunk driver. In Fulton County, an intoxicated driver struck our client after crossing the middle line into approaching traffic. Our client’s injuries were severe and permanent. Another accident occurred in Alpharetta, Georgia, when a drunk driver cut off another vehicle and caused it to roll over.

Drunk driving auto accidents tend to be more serious than those that do not involve alcohol due to poor judgment by the inebriated driver. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a Georgia auto accident caused by a drunk driver, contact our experienced attorneys today at (770) 427-5498 for a free consultation.

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