Maryland Considering Lowering BACMay 16, 2018
Drunk driving-related accidents and fatalities had gone down in recent years, but the numbers are creeping back up in Maryland, which is a major cause for concern among safety officials, parents, and law enforcement. In an effort to address this issue and ultimately reach a goal of zero drunk driving fatalities, Maryland, and the city of Baltimore, are considering lowering the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent, based on a new study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Each year, over 10,000 Americans lose their lives in drunk driving accidents across the country. Maryland has had its share of alcohol-related wrecks over the years. In 2016, the Maryland General Assembly passed a new law, known as “Noah’s Law” – named after a police officer who was fatally injured by a drunk driver – which enforces stricter penalties on motorists who drive while intoxicated. Unfortunately, the number of injuries and fatalities caused by drunk drivers continues to climb, despite the stricter laws.
Treating Drunk Driving as a Public Health Issue
From a public health perspective, reducing the BAC from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent makes sense for a number of reasons. According to one of the authors of the study, the evidence strongly supports that 0.05 BAC laws are more effective at saving lives. In fact, it could help reduce the annual number of fatalities by approximately 10 percent. The United States is one of the only countries in the developed world that has a 0.08 percent BAC, according to the study. Imposing higher taxes on alcohol, and enforcing the existing laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors, including those that are clearly intoxicated, may also have a positive impact on preventing drunk driving accidents.
Other public health initiatives recommended by the study include limiting alcohol points of sale and reducing the number of days and hours when alcohol can be sold. The study additionally recommends that law enforcement should also consider conducting more enhanced sobriety checkpoints, enforcing all-offender interlock ignition laws, and offering incentives to drivers who install preventative in-vehicle technology. In addition, there should be affordable, accessible transportation alternatives available to drivers who might otherwise get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Maryland, and Baltimore in particular, can be much more proactive in their fight against drunk driving. It starts with recognizing that drunk driving is a serious problem that warrants immediate and drastic interventions. By adopting the solutions proposed by this study, Maryland can help keep the roads in the city of Baltimore, and across the state, much safer.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a negligent driver, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights, and determine who is responsible for your injuries. We will hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions. Our dedicated team will pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve and will not stop fighting until justice is served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent injured victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.