In February of 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study that validated their recommendations of reducing blood alcohol concentrations from .08 to .05. Previously, they announced the same strategy to lower the BAC in 2013 for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto.
Citing Utah’s change to .05 in 2018, NHTSA data revealed a drop in fatal collisions by 19.8 percent and overall fatalities at 18.3 percent. In that same year, the national average for fatal crashes reduced by 5.6 percent, with 2019 seeing a 5.9 percent drop. States surrounding the Beehive State (Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada) did not reveal anywhere near the improvements in the fatality categories.
A study from 2017 placed estimates at an 11 percent reduction in alcohol-related crashes resulting in death with the potential of saving approximately 1,800 annually, not to mention averting thousands of life-changing injuries.
The safety study’s title, “Reach Zero: Actions to Eliminate Alcohol-Impaired Driving,” reveals their ultimate goal. Studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the National Safety Council are also pushing the .05 initiative. Supporters include the World Health Organization; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, and the National Safety Council have all expressed support.
In addition to the goal of a nationwide .05 BAC, advocates also are calling for mandatory alcohol ignition-interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving offenses.
Driving under the influence is a serious crime that carries even more severe consequences, if not life-changing. While current initiatives could become a reality, help from a skilled criminal defense attorney can help secure the best possible outcome.