Studies find .05 BAC driving limit associated with fewer highway deaths
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As impaired driving continues to claim an increasing number of lives, highway safety advocacy coalition Sober Driving Solutions is supportive of effective state policy changes to reduce the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers from .08% to .05%. Such an initiative was recently adopted as a formal priority of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), an organization representing state highway safety offices.
“With DUI deaths trending in the wrong direction, reducing state BAC limits for impaired drivers is an evidence-based approach that would undoubtedly save lives,” said Sabra Rosener, SVP of Legislative Affairs at Intoxalock, which leads the Sober Driving Solutions coalition. “At .08% BAC, drivers still experience reduced judgment, muscle coordination and ability to concentrate – the perfect recipe for crashing and endangering the lives of other drivers. We join our partners at GHSA in urging state lawmakers across the nation to lower BAC levels while driving to a more practical limit of .05%.”
Utah so far is the only U.S. state to implement a .05% BAC limit. Alcohol-impaired driving tragically claims the lives of 37 Americans daily, with deaths rising at a rate of 14% annually.
Key Data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):
A 2017 study from NIAAA examining qualifying international studies measuring the impact of reducing the BAC limit from .08 to .05 found that:
- Lowering the BAC to .05 (or lower) resulted in an 11.1% decline in fatal alcohol-related crashes.
- Lowering the BAC limit to .08 resulted in a significant, 9.2% decline in fatal alcohol-related crashes – indicating that reducing BAC limits is an effective policy.
- 1,790 lives could be saved annually if all U.S. states lowered their BAC limits to .05.
About Sober Driving Solutions:
Sober Driving Solutions is a coalition of concerned citizens and those who dream of a future free of impaired driving. It is led by Intoxalock, the leading ignition interlock manufacturer, alongside others who believe active technology can be used to end impaired driving. Until then, ignition interlocks are the only proven technology capable of preventing impaired driving.