.05 BAC WORKS IN OTHER COUNTRIES, WHY NOT HERE IN AMERICA?

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Tips

8684229367_2826035583 Recently, the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that the federal Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) threshold be lowered from .08 to .05. This announcement prompted quite a debate about reducing the high number of DWI fatalities and the affect such a change might have on small businesses. The report published by the NTSB claims the change could save between 500 and 800 lives every year. The study also reported that drivers showed impairment at levels as low as .02 percent.

 

First, let’s examine how the .05 BAC is working in other Western Countries, such as most of Europe and Australia.  More than 100 countries have dropped their legal BAC limit to .05 percent with significant changes according to the NTSB. In Australia, the change led to provinces reporting a 5-18 percent drop in traffic fatalities.

 

At .05 BAC, the risk of having an accident increases by 39 percent. At .08, the risk increases by more than 100 percent according to the Highway Safety ResearchCenter. They also report that at the current legal limit, an alcohol-related motor vehicle crash kills someone every 31 minutes and injures someone every two minutes.

 

“There is clear, solid, scientific evidence that lowering the illegal BAC limit to .05 is a strategy that states should strongly consider” said James Fell, a PIRE (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation) researcher. He points to laboratory evidence showing that most subjects are significantly impaired at .05 BAC (Ferrara, Zancaner, & Georgetti, 1994;Moskowitz & Fiorentino, 2000Moskowitz, Burns, Fiorentino, Smiley, & Zador, 2000). Drivers with .05 to .07 BACs are also much more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers who haven’t been drinking (Voas, et al., 2012).  The review was co-authored with Robert Voas, Ph.D., a PIRE senior research scientist.

 

The opposition to .05 is powerful, politically connected and well-organized. The alcohol industry spends billions on advertising in print and broadcasting.  Alcohol companies spend close to $2 billion every year advertising in the United States alone. From 2001 to 2007, they aired more than 2 million television ads and published more than 20,000 magazine advertisements.  The data on this advertising of alcohol comes from researchers with the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University (CAMY) and Virtual Media Resources (VMR) of Natick, Massachusetts, who analyzed the placements of 2,033,931 alcohol product advertisements that aired on television between 2001 and 2007, and 19,466 alcohol advertisements placed in national magazines between 2001 and 2006. Certainly lowering the threshold from .08 to .05 would cut into their bottom line. Such a reduction would affect thousands of bars and their employees. America has had a long tradition of promoting drinking on every occasion, even if there’s a symbolic tag of “drink responsibly”. The argument that retaining jobs and commerce should take precedence over reducing DWIs is appealing at a time when the economy is still lagging and losing jobs is a key concern to the public.

 

No other country is influenced by the alcohol industry like America. While the problem of drunk driving is much more ubiquitous here, the culture is so ingrained with drinking any change in the BAC level will take a concerted effort, by groups like MADD and RID to shift public opinion. Right now the playing field heavily favors the alcohol industry. They have a ton of money and will spend it to protect their own interests. They have the ear of Congress and well-funded lobbyists to fight for their agenda.

 

The perception that the problem of DWI fatalities is due to the chronic alcoholic who blows a .25, has had their license suspended numerous times and that lowering the BAC to .05 will have little effect on reducing DWI fatalities is a  red herring. When you consider the difference between a person’s peripheral vision at .05 and .08, the driver is 100% more likely to be involved in an accident according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). So lowering the BAC to .05 will definitely save lives. However, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the alcohol industry. They will vigorously fight against lowering the legal threshold to .05.  Their influence and revenue they provide to the media that covers this story can’t be ignored. Neither should the effort to make .05 the law.

By Doris Aiken, President/Founder of RID (Remove Intoxicated Drivers)

|

Customer Reviews

Defensivedriving.com has a ShopperApproved rating of 4.7 based on 90977 ratings and reviews.

Linda TX, United States
Easy, compliant with my state for ticket dismissal and reasonably priced.
Jonathan TX, United States
Simple and easy to understand. Gets to the point.
Jesse TX, United States
Simple website and registration process.
Janice
Fast and easy
Lisa
Easy to understand, straightforward, simple to register.
William
Easy to use!
ileana TX, United States
I have used this website before over the years and found it easy to navigate! Love it and the ability to call and talk to a person when I need help!
Lizette
It has been simple and efficient to navigate through the website making the decision to use defensivedriving.com easy.
Tonia
Easy to access and understand.
Bertha
It is very affordable!
Alexandria
as good as it gets
Amber TX, United States
Very easy process to understand and very user friendly website.
Raymond
Quick and easy
STEPHANIE United States
Thank you for having everything to take care of my ticket all in one place
Christopher
Great Service!
Carla
Everything has been quick and easy!
Claudia
Fast and easy
Jenny
It is easy and user friendly.
Katherine
Easy to follow instructions.
Roberto TX, United States
Registration was easy, and the completion of the course was simple. Definitely recommend taking this course.
Anne-Marie
Easy to do. Easy to understand
Nada
Fast and efficient
Kathleen
It was wonderful and super easy!!
Pete
Quick and easy process.
David
Simple and straight forward
Ralph
Easy to navigate
Loni TX, United States
Quick and easy sign up
Hannah United States
It's an easy to use program.
Jose United States
Easy and fast
Dorelia
Quick and easy
Jerry
Too Easy!
Adam
Easy to use.
Christy United States
Very easy and explained things well.
Karla TX, United States
Loving that this is offered online!
See all reviews on shopperApproved.com
Why DefensiveDriving.com
  • 20 Years in Business
  • Over 2 Million Customers Served
  • Highest Possible Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Award Winning Course