Should Pennsylvania’s Legal Limit for BAC Be Lower?

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Currently, the legal limit for DUI in Pennsylvania is .08 BAC. However, a recent report recommends that the legal limit for BAC be lowered from .08 to .05. According to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, lowering the BAC would help prevent drunk driving accidents. The committee states that a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely is impaired at BAC levels lower than the current legal limit of .08. Therefore, to reduce drunk driving incidents, state and federal governments should take action to lower the BAC to at least. 05.

In addition to lowering the BAC level, the report also offers several other recommendations that the authors believe state and federal governments should adopt. Some of those recommendations include:

  • Significantly increasing taxes on alcohol;
  • Enforce and strengthen laws to avoid illegal sale of alcohol to underage persons and individuals already impaired by alcohol;
  • Implement standards for alcohol advertising and marketing;
  • Enact laws requiring ignition interlocks for all offenders; and,
  • Provide prevention and treatment for alcohol use disorders and binge drinking.

The report cites other cities as examples of why lowering the BAC will help reduce DUI accidents. According to the report, cities in Japan, Denmark, and Austria that have lowered the legal limit from a BAC of .08 to a BAC of .05 have had lower DUI accident fatalities after the change.

Decreasing the Number of DUI Accidents

One reason the report recommends numerous actions for federal and state governments and other agencies to combat DUI accidents is because of the number of people injured and killed in these crashes.

Some of the key facts about alcohol-impaired driving in the report include:

  • Since 1982, approximately one-third of the traffic fatalities involved an impaired driver.
  • 10,497 people died in 2016 in alcohol-impaired driving accidents.
  • During 2016, 214 children 14 years of age and younger died in DUI accidents.
  • Rural areas have more DUI accidents than other areas.
  • Roughly 40 percent of the fatalities in DUI accidents are victims other than the drunk driver.
  • On average, drivers between the ages of 21 to 25 years are involved in more fatal DUI accidents than any other age group.

Even with the suggestions and recommendations in the report, it is difficult to know if lowering the BAC to .05 would lead to a decrease in DUI accidents or lead to more DUI arrests.

What Should I Do After a DUI Accident?

If you are injured in a Pennsylvania DUI accident, the first thing you need to do is call 911 to report the crash. Seeking medical attention should be your next priority. You need to see your doctor as soon as possible if you are not transported to the emergency room from the accident scene. Documenting injuries is a crucial step in the accident claim process.

After you have taken care of your health, you need to focus on your legal options. If the drunk driver caused the accident, you could recover damages by filing a personal injury claim. To discuss your options and the steps you should take to recover full compensation for your damages we urge you to contact our DUI accident attorney.

Call an Erie DUI Accident Attorney

Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free legal consultation with an experienced DUI attorney in Erie. Put the experience, skills, and resources of our law firm on your side so we can fight for justice for you and your family.