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Risk of causing a car accident at even a low BAC is still high

Car accidents are unfortunately far more common than most people in California realize. Of the thousands of fatalities that result from these wrecks, a significant portion were the direct result of a drunk driver. While some wrecks might be the result of unavoidable circumstances, a car accident caused by a drunk driver is simply not.

According to data from 2014, over 32,000 traffic fatalities occurred on the nation’s roads that year. Of those, a third were attributed to drunk drivers. With the number of deaths from drunk driving accidents averaging out to one about every hour or so, some advocates are pushing for harsher policies regarding drunk driving laws and policies.

The typical .08 blood-alcohol concentration limit that most people are familiar with has its roots in legislation passed back in 2000. Although the new national standard is lower than the law previously allowed, experts point out that having a .08 BAC still leaves drivers significantly impaired even when they do not feel as if they are. This BAC is associated with about four alcoholic beverages, at which point vision and reaction time are impaired and the ability to process information takes a huge hit. Even at only two alcoholic beverages, the ability to drive, multitask and make sound judgment is highly diminished.

Scientific evidence demonstrates that the risk of causing a drunk driving car accident with a BAC of .08 is nearly two times the risk at .05. Still, California and other states across the country maintain this relatively high legal limit, putting other motorists on the roadway at serious risk for injuries and even death. When these types of tragedies occur, most victims and their families understand the importance of achieving just compensation for their damages through the actions of either personal injury or wrongful death claims in the civil court system.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Drunk Driving Laws Don’t Match The Research“, Brad J. Uren, July 22, 2016

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