In 1999, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report showed how implementing laws to reduce the legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) could reduce drunk driving related accidents. The report started with a history of drunk driving research, from a 1964 research paper that proved drivers who had been drinking were more likely to be involved in car accidents than those who were sober. Then, in 1992, data analysis showed that drunk drivers were more likely to cause accidents as well. Finally, it was found that there was a direct relation between the amount of alcohol in your system, and the likelihood of having an accident.
This may seem like common sense now, but back then governments wanted any drinking and driving laws they enacted to be justified by scientifically-proven fact. When the report was released, only 16 states and the District of Columbia had laws requiring that the driverâ€™s BAC be below 0.08%. Most states at that time allowed BAC of 0.10%.
The Effects of 0.08 BAC Laws proved that the states which had already reduced their BAC laws to 0.08% had a reduction in drunk driving fatality rates at all levels, including high BAC offenses. â€śOur analysis found that the rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes declined in eight of the states studied after the effective date of the 0.08 BAC law,â€ť the authors of the report wrote in the Executive Summary. â€śFurther, 0.08 BAC laws were associated with significant reductions in alcohol-related fatalities, alone or in conjunction with administrative license revocation (ALR) laws, in seven of the eleven states.â€ť
The report also pointed out that 0.08 BAC laws generally worked better when used with other drunk driving prevention methods like ALR laws and sobriety checkpoints.
However it is clear that there is still a lot that can be done to reduce drunk driving. In a sample press release created for local law enforcement agencies prior to the 2007 July 4th weekend, the NHTSA stated that 280 people were killed on that holiday weekend alone in 2005. According to the press release, this was the â€śdeadliest holiday period of the year.â€ť
In all, there were 16,885 drunk driving fatalities that year. This represented 39% of all driving fatalities for 2005.
Government can help discourage drunk driving accidents and deaths, but ultimately it is up to the individual drivers to make the right choice. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, contact a personal injury lawyer at Jim S. Adler & Associates to find out your legal rights. We may be able to help you get the settlement you deserve to cover your medical bills, lost work, and other monetary damages. And, Jim S. Adler & Associates can help you get compensation for your pain and suffering. Call us directly right now for a free case review, or fill out the form on this page with the details of your drunk driving accident.