National Transportation Safety Board wants alcohol legal limit lowered

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Everyone knows that they shouldn't get behind the wheel of their car after drinking in Middlesex County and yet many people continue to do it. Such behavior can lead to car accidents where innocent people are killed or left with life-threatening and life-altering injuries. While Massachusetts has taken action to discourage these drivers with penalties that include license suspension for a first offense of drunk driving, ignition interlocks for repeat offenders, and vehicle confiscation, driving while under the influence of alcohol still continues to be a big problem.

The numbers in Massachusetts

Just recently an accident, involving alcohol, occurred in Fall River, leaving a victim with a head injury according to The Herald News. Apparently, he ran a red light and crashed into the victim's vehicle. The drunk driver is facing several charges including operating under the influence second offense, indicating that he has been caught drinking and driving before.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving share the following statistics about Massachusetts:

  • 34 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state are related to drunk driving.
  • 22,253 people in the state have been convicted of drunk driving at least three times.
  • 4,840 people have been convicted of drunk driving on at least five occasions.
  • 114 people have died in drunk driving accidents within the past year.

The number of people with more than two drunk-driving convictions is alarming because it shows a general disregard for the safety of others and this puts people at risk of serious injury or worse.

Lowering the legal limit would save lives

The National Transportation Safety Board feels that lowering the current legal limit could save up to 1,000 lives every year according to NBC News. In May this year the NTSB recommended that all states initiate legislation to change the blood alcohol content level from 0.08 to 0.05. This would put the United States on the same track as dozens of other countries that already have set the legal limit at 0.05.

While the American Beverage Institute has spoken out against the recommendation, studies have shown that many people exhibit signs of being impaired well before their BAC reaches the current legal limit. Studies also reveal that across the country, the number of people who drink and drive is in the millions. It is unknown whether Massachusetts lawmakers are considering presenting such legislation anytime soon.

Keeping more drunk drivers off the road

Some argue that lowering the BAC would do nothing to discourage the heavy drinkers from getting behind the wheel of their car but if enacting a lower legal limit encourages more people to refrain from driving after consuming alcohol then it seems that it would be worth it. People who are injured by drunk drivers often face monumental challenges including lost income, medical costs, months of rehabilitation and even permanent disability.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney and learn how you may be able to hold that driver financially accountable for their actions.

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