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Lower BAC could result in fewer drunk driving accidents

Drunk driving car accidents continue to kill many people in Massachusetts and throughout the country. To address the dangers of drunk driving and to reduce the number of car accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that states should lower the legal Blood Alcohol Content limit from .08 to .05 percent.

Safety experts say that the difference between a BAC of .08 to .05 can significantly change a person's ability to drive safely on the road. The NTSB said that lowering the legal limit for drunk driving will keep motorists safe on the road by reducing the number of drunk driving car accidents.

Medical and safety experts say that lowering the legal limit for drunk driving should improve safety on the road because the more alcohol a person drinks, the more their driving ability worsens. Alcohol impacts a driver's reflexes, visual activity and awareness. These factors all increase the chances of being in a car accident, and many of these accidents end up causing serious injuries and fatalities due to the high speeds or dangerous behavior behind the wheel.

Many drivers in Massachusetts support lowering the drunk driving legal limit because it will help prevent accidents and keep the roads safer. While there is a lot of support for lowering the legal limit, some restaurant associations are not pleased with the recommendations as they feel it could have a strong impact on their liquor sales. However, some restaurant owners in Massachusetts said that lower sales is a small sacrifice to make if it results in fewer drunk driving accidents.

The NTSB does not have the power to change any laws in Massachusetts or in the U.S. However, many safety advocates are hoping that Massachusetts will consider the recommendations and think about proposing a bill to lower the state's legal BAC limits to reduce the high number of car accidents caused by drunk driving.

Source: WWLP, "Difference between .08 and .05 Blood Alcohol Level," Yoojin Cho, May 14, 2013

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