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Experts suggest maximum BAC should be .05, not .08

A recent post on this blog talked about how motorists in the Houston area do not need to blow over .08 in order to be too intoxicated to drive a vehicle safely. Alcohol always affects the person who is drinking it, and the exact nature of those effects depend heavily on the person and a number of other factors.

In fact, a recent report, which the United States government commissioned, suggested that other states should consider lowering the legal BAC limit from .08 down to .05. To date, only one western state has done so, but that law will not take effect until the end of 2018.

According to the report, other countries who have lowered the legal limit have seen a sharp reduction in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents caused by an intoxicated driver. Specifically, after lowering the limit to .05, some countries in Europe saw alcohol-related deaths on the roads drop in half.

Those who created the report also suggested that the lower limit would account for the newer ways in which alcohol gets marketed and distributed. The report is not the first expert report which has recommended a lower limit.

However one feels about the current legal limit in Texas, which stands at .08, this report only reemphasizes that, to some extent, .08 is just a number someone decided meant that a driver was legally too drunk to drive. The reality is that if alcohol or another drug is keeping a driver from being able to drive safely, that person should not be behind the wheel. If they do choose to drive and cause and accident, they can be liable to pay compensation to their victims.

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