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Is it time to lower Louisiana’s legal alcohol limit?

Back in 1998, President Bill Clinton called for a new national standard for drivers and alcohol consumption. Across the nation, states adopted a .08 percent BAC (blood alcohol content), meaning that any driver who had that concentration of alcohol or above could be arrested for drunk driving.

Clinton’s goal at the time was to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes caused by drunk drivers. New research indicates that it might be time for another reduction in the BAC. A recently released study shows that 15 percent of all alcohol-related crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drivers with a BAC below the legal limit.

According to a news article, the new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests “that the current (BAC) limit still allows for impaired driving.”

The research also shows that below-limit crashes are more likely to have youth fatalities than those fatal wrecks in which the driver’s BAC was at or above the legal limit of .08 percent.

Lead research investigator Dr. Timothy Naimi of Boston Medical Center said, “Our study challenges the popular misconception that alcohol-involved crashes primarily affect drinking drivers, or that BACs below the legal limit don’t matter.”

The research shows that cognitive impairment can begin at .03 percent BAC.

The lowest legal threshold in the nation is Utah’s .05 percent BAC, adopted two years ago. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that all 50 states adopt that standard in order to reduce the numbers of vehicle crashes caused by drivers impaired by alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a drunk or high driver, contact a Lake Charles law firm experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.

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