The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recently issued a statement with a recommendation to lower the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) level on the roads. Were the new regulations to be passed, the legal limit would change from .08 to .05. If you’ve recently been in an alcohol-related car crash, now might be a good time to consider hiring an auto accident lawyer. Whether you’re in Salt Lake City or in Southern Utah, the changes that the NTSB is proposing may drastically alter the legal landscape for alcohol-related car collisions and injuries.
Australia Embraces .05 Legal BAC Limit
The NTSB reports that other countries such as Australia already embrace a .05 legal limit. This more restrictive legal limit has been cited as a major factor in reducing alcohol-related crashes as well as reducing the average BAC of drivers on the road. This recent proposal from the NTSB has every auto accident lawyer from Salt Lake City to the Midwest tentatively waiting; a change in the legal BAC will directly affect how an auto accident lawyer handles car collisions pertaining to alcohol and DUI-related incidents.
According to the NTSB, almost 50 percent of lethal crashes could be avoided if the country collectively decided to lower the alcohol legal limit. The NTSB believes that if regulations similar to those of Australia were to be implemented in Salt Lake City and the rest of the country, the corresponding results would be significant.
Local Utah Policy Director Weighs In
Local Utah policy director Derek Monson of the Sutherland Institute agrees with the NTSB recommendations. “I think what that issue is really about it protecting innocent people from those who drive impaired by alcohol,” he says. “Research shows that virtually everybody who hits the .05 alcohol level has some kind of driving impairment.”
The NTSB has also presented some alternatives to charging someone with a DUI at a .05 BAC. Instead, the NTSB argues in favor of a reduced penalty, such as a suspension of the driver’s license. Time will tell what the final result will be.