Should Georgia Follow NTSB Recommendation and Lower Drunk Driving Threshold?

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. Georgia 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. However, it is uncertain whether such a move would impact the rate of 10,000 annual DUI fatalities. Even the NTSB does not think it will make a significant difference, estimating that a nationwide shift would annually save between 600-800 lives.

Some groups are neutral on the suggestion or leaning against it. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which advocates for stricter laws that combat drunk driving, has taken a neutral view of the proposal. Others argue that a harsher DUI law could adversely impact Georgia's restaurant industry which provides an estimated 400,000 jobs statewide.

Over 25 percent of all fatal Georgia auto accidents since 1994 involved DUI drivers. According to the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Georgia has averaged 406 fatal DUI auto accidents a year. In the last year for which statistics are available, 20 percent of fatal DUI accidents involved a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. Only 3 percent of Georgia fatal auto accidents were from drivers with a blood alcohol content lower than 0.08 percent.  

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

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