Its no secret that Impaired driving remains one of the biggest killers in the United States. In particular, drunk driving accidents in Miami and Miami Beach are a common occurrence.
The National Transportation Safety Board today recommended that all 50 states lower the benchmark for determining when a driver is legally drunk from 0.08 blood-alcohol content to 0.05. The idea is part of an initiative to eliminate drunken driving, which accounts for about a third of all road deaths.
Lowering the rate to 0.05 would save about 500 to 800 lives every year, the safety board said.
NTSB has no enforcement power over the states, so the change would have to come from state legislatures and governors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that it would help states that decide to implement the recommendation and encouraged them to take other steps that would prevent impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.
Under current law, a 180-pound male typically will hit the 0.08 threshold after drinking four drinks in an hour, according to an online blood alcohol calculator published by the University of Oklahoma. Comparatively, studies show that the average Miami citizen, a 5-foot 10-inch, 160-pound 26-year-old male in good health, would reach 0.05 with three beers over an hour.
As a Miami personal injury lawyer that represent victims of car accidents, I would be in favor of any measure that would reduce fatal injuries. However, I am not sure that reducing the bench mark from 0.08 to 0.05 would have that effect. To that end, Federal statistics show that more than 70 percent of drunken-driving fatalities involve drivers with a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent or more, and that the average level of a driver involved in a fatal crash is 0.16.