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Texas among states considering lower BAC standards

Drunk driving laws have drastically changed over the years to help curb a serious problem in the United States. The changes are a direct result of the high number of serious, sometimes fatal, auto accidents caused by people who were drinking alcohol just prior to driving. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the current blood alcohol content standard is simply not low enough.

The NTSB states that the number of car accidents involving alcohol have decreased by more than half since the current BAC minimum of 0.08 percent was introduced. They contend that the number of auto accidents involving a drunk driver is still too high. That is what has incited them to push for legislation that would lower the maximum BAC to 0.05 percent, the standard by which many other countries define an impaired driver. Texas is one of the states that might consider the lower level. If legislation for the lower limit is enacted, it could positively change the outcome in lawsuits for people bringing cases against a driver who has caused catastrophic injuries in the course of driving while impaired.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

The recommendation from the NTSB has caused some commotion in the alcohol industry. One group believes the suggested 0.05 percent limit is too low. The contention is that women often reach that limit after having only one alcoholic drink. It is possible that the group fears a reduction in business, which could cause a financial hardship on business owners. Resistance to the introduction of new laws and limits seems to be a common thread that causes battles between business owners and legislators. Opposition may slow the process down, but the changes may eventually occur anyway.

The suggestions by the NTSB could mean a huge win for those who plan to bring a lawsuit against a drunk driver due to personal injury inflicted during a car crash. If the maximum BAC is lowered, it could even result in larger awards for the injured parties.

Source: CNN, "Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths", Mike Ahlers, May 15, 2013

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