The great debate: Would lowering the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05 make a difference in those choosing to drive after drinking?
These days, an individual with a blood alcohol content of .07 is considered legal to drive in most U.S. states. Unfortunately, studies have found that even one drink can impair the ability and reaction time of even the most seasoned driver.
Our very own Nicholas Kardaras weighs in:
“Here’s what we know: Alcohol – any amount of alcohol – negatively affects the Central Nervous System; this includes impairment of vision, lack of muscular coordination and lengthened reaction time. A new National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration chart shows that a person with .05 BAC experiences “reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, (and) reduced response to emergency driving situations.”
Relatively speaking, it would not be unheard of for a 180 lb. male to test at a .073 BAC level after drinking 4 beers in an hour. 3 glasses of wine over a 2-hour period may result in a BAC of .063 for a 140 lb. male. In these examples, both individuals would be well within their legal rights to operate a motor vehicle. But do we really want anyone behind the wheel after 4 beers?
“Will lowering the BAC threshold actually affect people’s behavior?” asks Dr. Kardaras. “For those with a drinking problem, probably not. But for the recreational drinker – who might plan their evening around a limited number of drinks – the answer is yes.”
Where do you stand on the issue? Does the right to enjoy a few adult beverages at dinner trump the dangers of drunk driving? Do you believe that the limit should be lowered? Regardless of where your allegiance lies, it’s important to understand the impact of impaired driving… even to the slightest degree. As a society, we must hold ourselves accountable while routinely auditing our actions, behaviors and collective mindset – whether in the form of debate, discussion or the quest for perpetual betterment.
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