No matter which way you look at it, road fatality is devastatingly sad. It seems that we hear more and more about deaths on the roads as the years go by. The BAC legal limits in America are notably higher than many developed countries, with Australia, Denmark, and Japan (to name a few) having 0.05% as their national BAC legal limit. Whether the result is a single vehicle accident, a multi-vehicle wreck, or a truck accident, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) laws in the US (0.08% is the current unofficial national standard) are simply outdated and recklessly dangerous.
It seems that finally the US is moving towards a safer law on this topic, though. As with any call for action, there needs to be facts, a reason for changing the system. The legal system is complex in most countries, and the US is no different. For laws to be changed, it simply takes looking at the current statistics, the current laws, and then making an informed call based on the findings.
Alcohol-impaired driving remains to this day the single highest cause of motor vehicle deaths in the US, surpassing road fatalities caused by distracted driving and driving while under the influence of drugs. For the second year in a row, deaths on US roads exceeded 40,000 this past year, with a shocking percentage (40%) being the victims of drink driving motor vehicle accidents. Since the year 1982, a third of all traffic fatalities have been found to be due to drunk drivers.
In 2010 alone, the total cost of these incidents on the road to the US economy reached an astronomical $121.5 billion dollars. This skyrocketing sum is compiled of medical costs, legal costs, earning losses, vehicle damage, and productivity losses. Further, studies from other countries that have lowered their BAC laws to 0.05% (including Australia, Denmark, and Japan) have proven to be a smart legal change, especially when you take into account that every day, 28 people lose their lives on US roads, with almost half of them being victims of drink driving road accidents.
The current law
Historically, the legal limit for BAC levels across all fifty states in America has been 0.08%. until recently, all fifty states had a law in place that strictly prohibited all drivers of the legal drinking age (21, in America) and older, from driving with a BAC level at or above 0.08%. The sobering fact, however, is that an individual’s ability to operate heavy machinery begins to become affected with lower levels of alcohol in their systems than that.
Even now, 0.05% is considered the unofficial national BAC standard in America. Forty-nine of the fifty states in American have ignored or otherwise chosen not to pass law change suggestions to redefine the drink driving BAC legal limit.
The shift for change
Utah is the state that has kicked the movement into gear, lowering its BAC legal limits to 0.05%, making it the first state in the US to make the shift from the higher blood alcohol concentration level.
While just a single state, this positive action suggests that more states will follow suit, particularly as statistics begin to roll in of the deaths on roads in Utah relating to drink driving, and the deaths in all other forty-nine states relating to the same cause of death.
For further advice about these changes, consult a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys Zak Goldstein and Demetra Mehta of Goldstein Mehta LLC have just been selected by Expertise to their 2020 list of the Best DUI Defense Attorneys in Philadelphia. We greatly appreciate the recognition and will continue to fight hard for our clients' rights every day in and out of the courtroom. Learn more about DUI Defense.
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