This Chicago DUI atttorney has posted here and here about MADD's movement towards a prohibition of alcohol consumption. Still, it's important to distinguish the difference between driving when impaired because of alcohol consumption and the "beer with co-workers after work" or the "glass of wine with dinner" and then driving home adult. No one wants to be on the road with drunk drivers, but watch the shift from drunk driving to having any amount of alcohol and then driving that is now being advocated.
Driving with a buzz can be as dangerous as driving when you are fully intoxicated, a new study suggests.
The blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit in the U.S. is set at 0.08%, but levels well below this legal limit are associated with car accidents that cause incapacitating injury and death.
"Buzz kills," says David Phillips, PhD a sociologist at University of California, San Diego. "No amount of alcohol seems to be safe for driving."
The new study appears in Addiction.
In the study, drivers who tested positive for blood alcohol at levels well-below the legal BAC limit were more likely to be in severe car accidents than sober drivers largely because they drove significantly faster, were less likely to be appropriately using a seatbelt, and were usually driving the striking vehicle.
Lowering the legal BAC limit may help, Phillips says. In Sweden, the BAC limit is 0.02%; in Japan, it is 0.03%.
Researchers looked at data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which includes information on all 1,495,667 people in the U.S. who were involved in fatal car accidents from 1994 to 2008. This data included information on BAC in increments of 0.01.
Car accidents are 36.6% more severe even if alcohol was barely detectable in the driver's bloodstream, the study shows. The findings held even after researchers took into account the days and times of the week when car accidents are known to be more severe. Car accident severity is significantly higher on weekends, between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., and in June through August.
"There is no safe level," Phillips says. "Why assume that just because you have been driving buzzed for years that it is safe?"
Aren't you curious to know who funded the study?