Stronger Alcohol PoliciesJune 27, 2018
Drunk driving is one of the top causes of traffic fatalities in the United States. Roughly 30 percent of fatalities occur when one or more of the drivers involved were legally intoxicated. Another 20 percent of fatalities involve motorists who are below the legal limit. According to a recent study from the Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University, stricter policies on alcohol consumption and drunk driving result in lower rates of alcohol-related car accidents. Researchers suggest that lawmakers and safety officials should take proactive steps towards developing strong, comprehensive policies nationwide.
There is little research about whether alcohol policies impact alcohol-related crash fatalities. The study conducted by researchers at BMC and Boston University, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined states’ alcohol policies and how often alcohol was involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Researchers obtained data on crash fatalities from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The Alcohol Policy Scale was used to examine state alcohol policies for each year. Developed at BMC, this scale looks at broader alcohol policies based on 29 alcohol control policies.
Stronger Policies Save Lives
The research revealed that more restrictive alcohol policies reduced the likelihood of fatal car accidents that involved alcohol. For example, a one percent increase in restrictions on alcohol policies lead to a one percent decrease in the likelihood that the crash involved an intoxicated driver. By increasing the restrictiveness of policies by 10 percent nationwide, it can save close to 800 lives each year. According to the lead author of the study and physician at BMC’s Grayken Center for Addiction, establishing stronger alcohol control policies can reduce the number of crash fatalities, including fatalities of victims who are in the vehicle, but were not behind the wheel.
In addition to reducing the number of alcohol-related fatalities, stronger policies were effective at lowering the number of fatal car accidents that involved drivers whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was below the legal limit. This is significant because even a small amount of alcohol in a person’s system can increase their crash risk. Stronger alcohol policies can reduce many of those fatalities as well. While most countries have BAC limits of 0.05 percent or less, the legal limit for driving in the United States is 0.08 percent. The National Academies of Sciences and the National Transportation Safety Board have recommended lowering the BAC limits in the United States.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, it is in your best interest to contact the highly skilled and experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Drunk driving accidents are serious, yet preventable accidents that we take very seriously. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve, protecting your legal rights every step of the way. To schedule a free, confidential 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.