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NTSB asks Georgia to consider BAC level reduction

A new recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board may have Georgia legislators considering changes to the current blood alcohol content level laws. The NTSB, in an effort to reduce drunk driving deaths, has asked states to consider lowering their current legal BAC levels from .08 percent down by nearly half to .05 percent. This move comes as part of NTSB's overall plan to reduce alcohol-related driving deaths; which account for about one-third of all car fatalities.

The NTSB made its recommendation based on research that shows that lowering the allowed blood alcohol level from .08 to .05 will reduce deaths from alcohol-related crashes by 500 to 800 per year. The NTSB also recommended that police officers be allowed to seize the driver's license of any motorist who fails a field sobriety test.

Lowering drunk driving deaths is a goal to which everyone can aspire. However, lowering the current BAC legal limit levels may have unintended consequences. Currently, the .08 level allows for those who drink alcohol to consume a certain number of drinks before passing the threshold. For a 180-pound man in average health, the number of drinks per hour that can be metabolized to maintain a blood alcohol level of less than .08 is approximately four. The proposed change would reduce that number to two drinks per hour.

The penalties for DUI convictions can be severe. However, this does not always provide either comfort or satisfaction to survivors of alcohol-related accidents. A personal injury attorney can provide information on steps to be taken in regards to obtaining compensation.

Source: CNN, "Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths", Mike Ahlers, May 15, 2013

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