Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Research: Lowering BAC to .05 will NOT reduce traffic deaths

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

We’re now hearing the drumbeat to lower the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) from 0.08 to 0.05.

However, research by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) shows in 2008, the MAJORITY of drivers involved in fatal crashes in ALL 50 states had 0% BAC.

Put another way, in the MAJORITY of ALL traffic fatalities in ALL 50 states, the drivers were TOTALLY SOBER.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The MAJORITY of ALL traffic fatalities in ALL 50 states were from TOTALLY SOBER drivers.

The finding, “Traffic Fatalities by State and the Highest Driver or Motorcycle Rider BAC in the Crash, 2008″ is in Table 4, on page 6.

The report – Traffic Safety Facts 2008 Data, Alcohol-Impaired Driving – may be read here: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811155.PDF. Alternatively, that report – Traffic Safety Facts 2008 Data, Alcohol-Impaired Driving – may be downloaded from this blog, as well.

Consider, for example, the following traffic fatality rates for SOBER drivers were the following in the listed states:

Alabama 62%
Arkansas 65%
California 65%
Florida 65%
Iowa 73%
Kansas 59%
Maine 70%
Montana 54%
Utah 80%
National average 63%.

It is clear that the fatality rate for SOBER drivers is EXCEEDINGLY higher than for alcohol impaired drivers.

Further, that same research shows that of those drivers who were alcohol-impaired, and where fatalities occurred, the majority of them had a BAC over 0.16 – exactly TWICE the legal limit.

“In 2008, 7,378 (57%) of the drivers involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking had a BAC of .15 or greater.”
“… and 57 percent (7,378) had BAC levels at or above .15. The most frequently recorded BAC level among drinking drivers in fatal crashes was .16. The most frequently recorded BAC level among drinking drivers in fatal crashes was .16.”

Ref: ibid, page 5

As well, neither MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), AAA (American Automobile Association) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are supporting this effort. That alone should speak volumes.

So guess what?

Lowering BAC to .05 won’t save lives.

THINK, PEOPLE… THINK!

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