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NTSB Proposes Lowering Drunk Driving Threshold to 0.05 Percent

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2006 study by the NHTSA estimated that there is one drunk driving fatality in the United States every 30 minutes.

 

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Fayette County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all states lower the drunk driving threshold from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent blood alcohol content. Despite increased societal awareness of drunk driving dangers and stricter regulations aimed to prevent it, drunk drivers are responsible for more than 10,000 fatalities each year. The NTSB's recommendation is similar to a new regulation in the European Union that reportedly has reduced drunk driving fatalities by 50 percent.

 

The proposed blood alcohol threshold reduction recommendation has been criticized by the beverage industry which claims the suggestion focuses on moderate drinkers rather than those who exhibit impaired driving ability. The American Beverage Institute claims that a typical female drinker will have a blood alcohol content above 0.05 percent after one drink but that 70 percent of fatal DUI accidents involve drivers with a blood alcohol content above 0.15 percent.

 

The NTSB also recommended the development of a separate court system to handle DUI cases and providing incentives to states to adopt a systematic program of ignition interlock devices for those convicted of DUI.

 

According to the NHTSA, a drunk or DUI driver who caused an accident resulted in 12,998 deaths nationwide in 2007. By comparison, a DUI driver who caused a traffic accident resulted in 13,491 deaths in 2006, a year-over-year decrease of 3.7 percent. 

 

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Fayette County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.

 


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia