Maryland Car Accident Attorneys | Reducing Drunk Driving By Reducing the BACAugust 14, 2013
Our firm represents people and families hurt in automobile and other accidents. Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol are less likely to brake or swerve in time, leading to serious, sometimes catastrophic, injury. In recognition of the lives being lost and altered by drunk drivers, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently made recommendations to further reduce drunk driving fatalities.
In 2011, there were 162 motor vehicle fatalities associated with alcohol in Maryland, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although consequences for driving impaired in Maryland include incarceration, fines, community treatment programs and other monitoring, the death toll from drunk driving has remained in the same range since at least 2007.
A report released in May of this year by the NTSB listed interventions recommended by the agency to reduce drunk driving deaths and the damage associated with those accidents. Some key points of the report included:
- The NTSB supports reduction of the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from the current level of.08 percent to .05 percent. Compared to the .05 percent BAC of European countries, United States alcohol laws are more tolerant. Research shows impairment can begin at .01 percent BAC.
- Increased monitoring and measures are suggested to rehabilitate repeat drunk drivers, along with implementation and widespread use of courts specifically designed to address impaired driving offenses.
- High visibility law enforcement, development of in-cab alcohol sensing devices and stepped-up use of ignition interlock for all drunk driving offenders are also suggested by the board.
In striving to reach zero drunk driving fatalities, Deborah Hersman, NTSB Chairman, noted, “[a]lcohol-impaired crashes are not accidents, they are crimes. They can – and should – be prevented.”