Would Lower BAC Limits Help Reduce Alcohol-Related Deaths? (Part 1)

A speedometer in a car showing levels of intoxication instead of numbers

Michigan’s current legal limit is .08. Would reducing that save lives?

 

More than 10,000 people die every year in alcohol related car crashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this number accounts for almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. All in all, it’s a staggering number of lives lost, which raises the question: what can be done about it? In truth, there is no single answer that’ll solve the problem. However, one of the solutions that is often suggested is lowering the current BAC limit. But will that really help?

 

In truth, probably not. Wondering why we don’t think so? After all, surely if people drank less there would be less drunks on the road, right? Well, maybe. But probably not. And if you stick around, you’ll see why…

 

Michigan has a long history of being really heavy handed with drunk drivers. While there is certainly logic in that approach, (they do endanger themselves and many others when they drive drunk) it doesn’t seem to have solved the problem. Infact, when you stop and consider that every single year 10,000 people die as a result of DUIs, it would point to the fact that the heavy handed approach isn’t as effective as we’d hoped.

 

So if taking away their licences, putting them in jail, making them pay huge fines, and impounding their cars isn’t working, what’s left? Should Michigan lower the BAC limit? Nope, we shouldn’t. Because despite what the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says about a .05 BAC, lowering the legal limit for alcohol consumption in Michigan probably isn’t going to fix the DUI problem. The question you’re probably asking right now is ‘why?’

 

Would lowering the legal limit for drinking and driving solve the problem?

 

For starters, let’s ask Rick Berman, a well known writer for the Washington Times and former president of Beverage Retailers Against Drunk Driving (BRADD). “Lowering the legal limit to .05 will do almost nothing in the effort to reduce traffic fatalities. In fact, only 1 percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities nationwide involve a driver that has a BAC between .05 and .08. And those “alcohol-related” fatalities are not to be confused with “alcohol-caused.”

 

In reality, it takes very little alcohol to achieve the proposed arrest limit of .05. For a 120-pound woman to be arrested, she could have had little more than a single drink. And a 150-pound man could be charged with drunk driving after two beers. Depending on state law, that would mean being subject to jail, loss of license, huge fines and much higher insurance premiums for years.”

 

As Berman points out, lowering the legal limit won’t make that much difference to the overall number of alcohol-related fatalities. But it will result in a host of people being arrested for the simple act of having a glass of wine with dinner and then driving home. As you can see from Berman’s calculations, which aren’t very far off the mark, it would take very little to put someone over the legal limit, a fact that Berman refers to as “the war on social drinking.”

 

Join us next time when we will be looking at legislation in other states to lower the BAC limit, and what the results have been so far. Until then, if you or a loved one have been arrested for drunk driving or drugged driving here in Michigan, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Our experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorneys can help you protect your future! But don’t wait! You only get one chance to fix this – so don’t waste it!

 

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