Scientists Recommend Lower Drunk Driving Thresholds—Will This Prevent Personal Injuries?

MACON, Georgia. All 50 states have a legal drunk driving blood alcohol concentration threshold of 0.08. Yet, researchers for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine want states to lower their drunk driving thresholds below the current limit. The LA Times reports that Utah plans to lower its drunk driving threshold to 0.05 this year. According to the report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there are 10,000 alcohol-related driving deaths each year. These deaths could potentially be reduced if states lowered their drunk driving thresholds, placed higher taxes on alcohol, and reduced the hours when alcohol is made available for purchase in stores.

In countries where the national threshold was reduced below 0.05, the number of drunk driving deaths were reportedly reduced by half after ten years of the new policy being put in place.

But how much alcohol can a person drink under the lowered threshold? This isn’t the easiest question to answer because every person’s alcohol tolerance is different. Your weight, your gender, and even how much you’ve had to eat when you drink can impact your blood alcohol concentration. A person’s ability to break down alcohol can also affect how much he or she can drink in a given night. Tech Times reports that a 160-pound male can reach a 0.05 BAC with just two beers, while a 120-pound female can reach a 0.05 limit after just one beer.

This might not seem like much, but a person’s judgement and reaction time can be affected after just one drink. A person can make poor decisions behind the wheel and still not meet the 0.08 blood alcohol concentration standard for drunk driving. Perhaps the new rules will make it clearer that people simply should not drink and drive—period. After all, even a small mistake behind the wheel can result in serious personal injuries and costly car accidents. Combine drunk driving with distracted driving, and you have a recipe for an accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been suggesting that the drunk driving threshold be lowered since 2013. At the end of the day, it isn’t clear whether states will begin to implement lower limits any time soon. Until states do, victims and families who have been impacted by a driver’s poor decisions behind the wheel may have to pursue personal injury lawsuits to seek justice.

While the legal limit is 0.08, if a family can show that a person may have been drinking before he or she got behind the wheel, the family may be entitled to seek damages under the law. Adams, Hemingway, & Wilson, L.L.P. are personal injury attorneys in Macon, Georgia who understand the unique challenges that car accident victims face. You and your family may be entitled to seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages if the other driver was drinking before your accident. Visit our personal injury attorney’s website at to learn more about your legal options.

By | 4:20 pm | Categories: Legal News | 0 Comments

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