By Michael Pines
Did you know that one-third of the American population will be involved in an alcohol-related car accident at one point in their lives? According to the Century Council, death by way of drunk driving accounted for 31 percent of the total vehicle traffic fatalities in 2011. With statistics like these, it’s no surprise that driving under the influence is one of the leading causes of car accidents in America.
Still, many drivers continue to drive while intoxicated despite the many prevention programs that aim to reduce injuries and fatalities arising out of drunk driving.
In response to these public concerns, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made a recommendation May 2013 to lower the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving. Currently, states observe a 0.08 BAC legal limit; should the recommendation pass into individual state legislature, the new legal limit would be 0.05 BAC.
WHAT WOULD A LOWERED LEGAL LIMIT MEAN FOR DRIVERS?
If all 50 states adopt the latest recommendation from the NTSB, it would be illegal to drive with more than a 0.05 BAC.
To fully understand how BAC levels work, it’s critical to first know that alcohol absorption varies widely from person-to-person – even from day-to-day.
If our country observes a new legal limit, the average person (for instance, a 180-pound male) could probably legally consume 2 drinks within an hour threshold before reaching a 0.05 BAC limit. That number can vary widely, though, based on a variety of factors including gender, weight, food and type of alcohol consumed.
That’s why it’s never been more important to avoid drunk driving altogether – and here’s how.
Preplan the evening. Before enjoying the festivities, make sure you have a plan for the evening. Buy your taxi ride ahead of time, for instance, or designate a driver.
Know how to host. A great party host knows to cut off alcoholic drinks at least an hour before the party is due to end. Serve water and sodas instead. It’s a good idea to also serve plenty of food items to buffer the effects of alcohol within the bloodstream.
Buy taxi rides for those incapable of driving. Don’t be afraid to hide keys or pretend you don’t know where they are in order to save a friend’s life.
Call 9-11 for suspected drunk drivers. If you suspect a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, don’t hesitate to call 9-11.
For more information on preventing DUI-related car accidents and injuries, click here.
About Michael Pines
Michael Pines is a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC in San Diego, California. He is an accident and injury prevention expert, on a campaign to end senseless injury one article at a time. Catch Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.