A new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego indicates that drivers who are “buzzed” could be at a significant risk for causing a fatal car accident. To be considered legally drunk, blood alcohol content (BAC) must be 0.08 percent or higher. Below that (0.01 to 0.07 percent) is considered “buzzed.”
These findings stem from an analysis of 570,700 deadly car crashes that occurred between 1994 and 2011. They found a driver with a BAC of only .01 was 46 percent more likely to be at fault for a fatal crash compared to sober drivers involved in the accident. This suggests that regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed, there is the risk of an accident.
Because of these findings, researchers believe that changes should be made to drunk driving laws. And they aren’t the only ones who would support this.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ran a campaign from November 25 through December 13, 2013 called “Pre-Holiday Drunk Driving Prevention.” The focus was that buzzed driving is drunk driving. And the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been an advocate of lowering the BAC limit to 0.05 or lower.
How Impairment May Impact a Car Accident Claim
If someone is seriously or fatally injured in a crash involving an impaired driver, it will be important to know that driver’s BAC level. Whether that information is gathered right at the scene or later, it would be critical to speak with an attorney who can get the results.
If the person was legally intoxicated, he/she can be criminally charged. But even if the individual’s BAC levels were lower, it might impact the driver’s fault for the accident. Therefore, when seeking compensation in a car accident claim this would likely be an important factor considered.
To learn more about legal options, contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates if you or someone you love was the victim of an accident involving a buzzed or drunk driver. Call 800-550-0000.