Journal of Safety Research Volume 38, Issue 5, 2007, Pages 493-499
Hundreds of laws have been implemented in the United States over the past few decades designed to reduce alcohol-impaired driving and the crashes that often result. One approach has been to lower the legally allowable alcohol concentration for drivers. We examined the effects of changes in legal BAC limit in 28 U.S. states from January, 1976 to December, 2002.
Considerable state by state variability in estimated effects was observed, but results from the pooled analyses were clear and consistent. Changes in legal BAC limits significantly affected alcohol-related fatal crash involvement for both the SVN and BAC test result measures, and the laws affected drivers at all drinking levels.
An estimated 360 deaths are prevented each year in the United States as a result of the move from a 0.10 to 0.08 legal limit in recent years, and an additional 538 lives could be saved each year if the United States reduced the limit to 0.05, consistent with limits in most countries worldwide.
Given the significant effects of lower legal BAC limits on fatal crash involvement, businesses should support implementation of laws that further reduce the legal BAC limit for all drivers. Furthermore, all companies should set higher standards for employees, such as a zero allowable BAC limit for driving during work time.
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