Lowering the blood-alcohol level for motorists could save lives

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Published Jan 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Updated Jan 21, 2018 at 9:10 pm

Retrieved from:  http://www.wdel.com/news/lowering-the-blood-alcohol-level-for-motorists-could-save-lives/article_854335de-fedb-11e7-851c-e3d7551facc8.html

AlcoholImage courtesy of the National Highway Administration

A new recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences suggests that lowering the bloo-alcohol level from .08 to .05 could have a major impact.

Dr. David Jernigan is the director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing & Youth and is a professor at Johns Hopkins University.

“A lot of people think that the problem of alcohol impaired driving has gone away but, in fact, we’re looking at 10,000 deaths on America’s roadways,” said Jernigan. “The point is that everybody needs safer roadways.”

With the argument that distracted driving is just as bad as alcohol-impaired, Dr. Jernigan noted that the estimates point towards alcohol-related incidents are three times as likely in America.

The Johns Hopkins professor also noted that the recent tax cuts are going to give alcohol-based corporations a 16% break which means there will be more money for advertising and production.

“With 10,000 people dying on the roadways, that’s harmful to business,” argued Jernigan.

Utah has already moved to a statewide blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of .05 and Jernigan said, “state by state is the way to go. We’re glad Utah was first out of the box. We hope other state will follow.”

Dr. Jernigan noted that most of the world has stricter laws on BAC and are safer for it.

One rupissed.com page notes that most developed countries do, in fact, have a BAC restriction of less than .08 for motorists.

The other side of the coin for most would be ‘how many drinks’ before they hit that level.

Some old wives tales will say two drinks for women and two to three for men, but science dictates that it is based primarily on body weight.

Nevertheless, it is always a risk to partake in spirits before operating a vehicle and if someone is drinking; the question should not be ‘how many?’ It should be ‘can you get me an Uber?’

Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.

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