Should the legal blood alcohol content limit be reduced further, debate rages on

Posted on September 5th, 2017 in Addiction, alcohol, Alcohol Abuse, alcohol addiction, drinking

Should the legal blood alcohol content limit be reduced further, debate rages on

Debates on the legalization of certain drugs, lowering of the blood alcohol content (BAC) level for intoxication and related to other substances, are ongoing. They have raised certain relevant concerns for several stakeholders, particularly in the light of the consistent rise in the number of accidents and other fatalities due to drinking.

The statistics on accidents due to impaired driving and deaths due to such accidents in the United States reveal an alarming trend. Nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. are due to car crashes occurring because of “driving under the influence” (DUI) of alcohol that results in impaired driving. In 2015 alone, 10,265 people succumbed due to such alcohol-impaired driving, representing for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths.

To prevent such tragedies, one of the most effective measures that has been implemented by the law enforcement agencies include the imposition of 0.08 percent BAC for drivers and zero tolerance laws for drivers younger than 21 years of age in all states. Hence, anyone found above this level are liable to be arrested and penalized. However, arrests may also be made if a police officer considers a driver “noticeably impaired” even if BAC maybe within limits.

Is 0.08 BAC good enough

As in the case of the national standard, the legal limit for BAC has been 0.08 percent since 2001 in Arizona. With the signing of a legal law that reduces the BAC further to 0.05 percent by the Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a debate has been brewing around the subject whether Arizona should also join the other states in implementing such a level. According to the governor, 85 percent of the world’s countries have already legally implemented the lower limit.

The concerned citizens are debating whether the lowering of the limit is at all necessary when some states are going forward with the legalization of drugs. Moreover, people are prone to impaired driving not only under the influence of alcohol but also due to drugs and indulgence in other risky habits, such as texting that makes drivers far more dangerous on the roads.

Besides, every individual’s responses would be different at different BAC levels. Therefore, it is not an accurate indicator for testing dysfunctional driving. Another school of thought also felt that people who drink socially without creating a nuisance would unnecessarily be treated heavy-handedly. Looking at the flipside of lowering the BAC level, a number of people are hesitant about such a dramatic change.

However, State Sen. Jim Waring of R-Phoenix wants the state to lower the legal limit to 0.05 from 0.08 BAC for repeat offenders. Anyone convicted of more than one DUI in five years should undergo punitive measures to avoid the repetition of such a life-threatening crime. The legal implementation of this proposal would entail that if a driver is convicted two times for DUI, then the third assessment of such a person would be done on the lower limit (0.05 percent BAC) whereby he or she may be arrested and convicted. Around 23 states are already leading the way by legally reducing the BAC limit to 0.05 percent.

Follow safety tips to avoid drunken driving

The golden rule is to step out of the driver’s seat if one has consumed alcohol or drugs in a social setting or if there are plans to socially engage in a few drinks. A few tips that will help a person in his or her fight against drunk driving include indulging in nonalcoholic beverages, consuming a plenty of appetizers to avoid adverse side effects of drinking on an empty stomach,  avoid serving alcohol to minors,  chalk out an alternate plan to avoid serious repercussions, etc.

If you or someone close to you is addicted to alcohol and needs treatment, get in touch with the Arizona Alcohol Addiction Helpline to know more about the alcohol addiction treatment centers in Arizona. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-671-1510 or chat online to get more information about the best alcohol addiction treatment in Arizona.

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