On January 17, 2018 the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) issued a press release which says, “Despite progress in recent decades, more than 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities occur each year in the U.S. To address this persistent problem, stakeholders -- from transportation systems to alcohol retailers to law enforcement -- should work together to implement policies and systems to eliminate these preventable deaths.”
There are a number of actions NAS recommends one of which is “lowering state laws criminalizing alcohol-impaired driving from 0.08 to 0.05 percent BAC (blood alcohol concentration) in addition to increasing alcohol taxes significantly, strengthening policies to prevent illegal alcohol sales to people under 21 and to already-intoxicated adults, enacting all-offender ignition interlock laws, and providing effective treatment for offenders, when needed.”
The committee chair for the NAS report, Steven Teutsch, adjunct professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, senior fellow at the Public Health Institute, and senior fellow at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California. said, “While getting to zero alcohol-impaired driving deaths sounds like an overly ambitious goal, it builds on the momentum of Vision Zero, an approach that recognizes that traffic-related fatalities are not just ‘accidents,’ but rather are embedded in a network of events and circumstances with causal links that can be averted. Our report offers a comprehensive blueprint to reinvigorate commitment and calls for systematic implementation of policies, programs, and system changes to renew progress and save lives.”
Blood Alcohol Concentration Laws
In all 50 states, drivers age 21 or older are prohibited from driving with a BAC at or above 0.08 percent. The committee issuing the NAS report said that an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle starts to deteriorate at a lower level than 0.08, and that other countries which have decreased their BAC laws to 0.05 percent such as Austria, Denmark and Japan demonstrated that this is an effective policy. (To download the NAS report go to: Stop DWI Deaths)
The recommendation of lowering the BAC to 0.05, or lower, is not new. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), has been advocating this change for the last 6 years. In February 2016 the NTSB tweeted, “Safety is a journey, not a destination. "Reducing the BAC limit to 0.05 is one of many steps to end substance impairment in transportation."
“We see the devastation drinking and driving has created. Families are forever changed when a loved one is taken from them, or disabled, by an irresponsible drunk driver. As the NAS committee chair said drunk-driving crashes are not ‘accidents’. Everyone who does not drink and drive or who prevents another from doing so can have an impact on reaching ‘Vision Zero’,” said Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.