Government Begins Push for a Reduced BAC Limit

A study from the University of California, San Diego claims that the United States should lower the legal limit on alcohol to 0.05 for driving. The finding has gained traction, and now several states cite this study as a reason to update DUI and DWI laws. However, there is one glaring problem: the science it’s based on may be faulty.

Published in “Injury Prevention,” a British medical journal, the study claims to show that even the tiniest amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of a car crash that can result in fatalities. The author took a look at more than a half-million car crashes in the United States, starting in 1994. He claims that a driver having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as low as 0.01 raises the risk of an accident by as much as 46%.

Examining Blame

The problem is that the study only examines “blame” or which driver the police ultimately considers “at fault” for a car crash. This conclusion is an examination of the legal system, rather than the actual science of what alcohol does to the body. A large amount of alcohol does increase the risks of an accident occurring, but at the same time, there has never been any actual research objective enough to prove that minuscule amounts of alcohol lead to greater danger while driving.

Overall, the study only shows that the police may be guilty of confirmation bias. Generally, officers would be more likely to blame the driver who has a hint of alcohol on their breath, which is something evident to anyone in the vicinity.

drinking and driving

What the Study Left Out

The study also didn’t mention what is known as the “threshold effect,” which means there was “no sudden transition from not being blamed to suddenly being blamed,” when it comes to the drunk driving legal limit. The researchers instead concluded that blame rapidly increases from a 0.01 BAC up to 0.24 BAC.

Their research conflicts with prior evidence that a minimal blood alcohol concentration of 0.01 to 0.04 lowers the risk of getting into a car accident. This phenomenon is known as the “Grand Rapids Dip.” It has appeared on a broad scale in multiple studies of road accidents and has shown time and time again that there is little effect on the safety of a person’s driving ability when the levels of alcohol in their blood are so low. Oddly, the statistics even show that the effects of shallow levels of alcohol are actually positive.

Don’t Let A DUI Ruin Your Life

A DUI arrest can bring everything to a screeching halt–your job, your relationships and your life.

We can help you fight for your freedoms and your life. At The Umansky Law Firm, we have the experience needed to vigorously defend your case and the results to prove it. Contact us online or call 407-228-3838 now to schedule your free consultation.