Did you know that the legal drunk driving limit in the United States was first set at .15 BAC in the 1930s? Over time, the limits were lowered to .10 in the 1950s and then lowered to .08 BAC—where it stands today. Now, research has indicated that the legal limit for drunk driving should decrease to no higher than a BAC of .05 percent.

The Reason a Change Is Needed

Over time, researchers have found that even a trace of alcohol could affect a driver’s ability to drive safely and react accurately. Many studies have established that any amount of alcohol can increase the chance of wrecking—and a BAC of .05 or higher can increase a person’s chance of crashing about 40 times.

According to a 2010 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 7,082 deaths could have been prevented that year if drivers had a BAC lower than .08 percent. Because study after study continues to indicate that any amount of alcohol could increase a crash, officials and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving are calling for our country to lower the BAC to .05 percent.

News for Buzzed Drivers

As evidence from studies indicate that drivers are impaired even after one drink, it is now a huge concern affecting roadways in Florida and throughout this nation. Unfortunately, people get behind the wheel after having one or two drinks because they don’t consider themselves drunk. Even if they don’t feel impaired or “buzzed”, they could cause crashes in Florida or nationwide due to their impaired judgment and lack of coordination.

Far too many drivers believe if they aren’t drunk then they are fine to drive, but the reality is that “buzzed driving” is impaired driving and can impair a driver’s ability to drive safely. And any amount of alcohol that gives a person a “buzz” could be deadly on the road.

The reality is that “buzzed” drivers are less likely to wear a seatbelt, more likely to speed, and at a higher risk for hitting another car. This means that even “buzzed” drivers are unsafe drivers.

Why Hasn’t the U.S. Lowered the BAC?

With this information and the fatal numbers of drunk driving accidents in this country, it is sobering why the government hasn’t lowered the legal limit. Even other countries like Sweden, China, and Puerto Rico have a .02 percent BAC, and Japan has a .03 percent law. Russia and Brazil have zero tolerances, and most other countries around the world have their legal limits set between zero and .05 percent, with the U.S. having one of the most lax limits.

The devastation caused by impaired drivers is sobering. If you have been injured or your loved one has died as a result of a buzzed or drunk driver, contact a South Florida accident attorney at the Law Office of David Benenfeld who will inform you of your legal rights. Call today for a free consultation at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].