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New law would lower BAC limit for DUI


Massachusetts and other states are being urged by the National Transportation Safety Board to adopt a new blood alcohol content limit. To help prevent incidents of motor vehicle accident and injury, states are urged to lower BAC limits from .08 to .05 percent. The NTSB believes that lowering the BAC limit would reduce drunk driving accidents that currently kill 10,000 people per year and injure thousands more.

Drunk driving is involved in about a third of fatal accidents. In the past thirty years, 440,000 people have been killed in drunk driving crashes. The NTSB estimates that lowering the rate to .05 would save between 500 and 800 lives annually.

The agency is also advocating expanding police powers to seize driver’s licenses from those who exceed BAC limits as well as laws that would require first-time DUI offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles. Since the advent of stricter DUI laws, death rates from drunk driving accidents have steadily decreased, especially among young people. Many states now have zero-tolerance policies for DUI by teenagers and these laws seem to have significantly reduced the rate of drunk driving among the young.

An individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver may find that a personal injury attorney can help him or her file a lawsuit to collect damages. Families of those killed in DUI accidents may be entitled to collect damages under a wrongful death suit. Victims may be entitled to payment of medical costs associated with injuries, lost wages and compensation for permanent loss of cognitive or physical abilities. Families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of drunk drivers may be entitled to payment for loss of love and affection, loss of future income, funeral expenses and other costs related to the accident.

Source: CNN, “Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths“, Mike Ahlers, May 15, 2013


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