If you were to read the headlines, you would read that an Ireland government recently passed laws to "legalize drunk driving." If you looked a little bit closer, you would see that their drunk driving blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is still lower than the limit in the United States.
According to the International Business Times, the bill was originally proposed by a local politician who argued that the older rural residents weren't likely to cause traffic accidents on rural country roads. It was also said that a few drinks was going to help these residents to avoid mental illnesses.
Our Costa Mesa drunk driving accident attorneys ask you an important question: How does the government decide just how many drinks is too much to drive? The truth of the matter is that any and all consumption of alcohol has an effect on our abilities behind the wheel. An older, larger man is more than likely going to take longer to display the signs of true intoxication that a younger, smaller woman. Still, the BAC levels remain the same for everyone. In Ireland, the level was increased to .07 from .05, which is still lower than the .08 here in the U.S.
"The risk of being in a crash gradually increases at each BAC level, but rises very rapidly after a driver reaches or exceeds .08 BAC," Delmas Johnson and James Fell in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 1995 report.
But how do we still allow residents to consume any amount of alcohol and get behind the wheel if every sip affects our driving abilities? According to the NHTSA's Traffic Safety Facts, there were close to 10,000 people killed in the U.S. in alcohol-related car accidents in 2011. These kinds of accidents account for more than 30 percent of the total number of traffic fatalities for the entire year. This means that someone was killed in an alcohol-related car accident every 53 minutes throughout the year.
In the state of California, we saw close to 1,000 fatalities in 2011 as a result of intoxicated driving and car accidents. These accidents accounted for about a third of all of California's traffic fatalities. Thousands more were injured in these accidents, too -- many of them completely innocent and sober.
These accidents are completely preventable and no one is ever forced to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. There are so many other options to get home safely. Before you head out this summer and party it up with your friends and coworkers, remember to make sure you have a safe and sober ride home to keep yourself from becoming an unfortunate statistic.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925 today.
SoCal Car Accident Risks on the Rise, California Injury Lawyers, March 5, 2013
Safe Driving Skills Prove Rewarding in Costa Mesa, California Injury Lawyers, January 14, 2013