Drunk Driving Fatalities: Getting to Zero
As we all know, heavy machinery and alcohol do not mix. Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) presented recommendations on better ways to deal with people who choose to get behind the wheel of their car after having a drink, or three.
In North Carolina, there were more than 10,000 alcohol-associated crashes in 2011, and 366 of those were fatal. Nationally, the NTSB notes almost 10,000 people die and 146,000 are injured each year in drunk driving accidents.
In deliberations detailed in its report Reaching Zero: Actions to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving, the NTSB makes the following recommendations to reduce injury and loss of life:
- Address the BAC. Currently, .08 percent is the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) used to determine impaired driving ability across the United States. Research indicates cognitive and motor impairment from alcohol can begin at .01 percent. The NTSB recommends each state lower their BAC limit to .05 percent, a measure bringing the United States in line with much of the rest of the world.
- Expand enforcement. The NTSB encourages use of high visibility enforcement efforts, like establishing sobriety checkpoints, developing in-vehicle alcohol sensing devices and installing ignition interlock devices in the vehicles of all motorists convicted on drunk driving charges.
- Realistically address offenders. Through the continued use and development of courts focused solely on defendants cited for driving while intoxicated, repeat offenders could be better monitored and consequences created that better suit the goal of reducing recidivism.
One drunk driving injury or fatality is too many. Talk to a seasoned personal injury attorney if you suffer loss due to the negligence of a drunk driver.