It's common knowledge that the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers in Ohio is .08 percent. Most people also know that drivers who exceed the legal limit are at high risk of causing a serious drunk driving accident.
But what about those drivers who have one or two beers? Are they dangerous? If you think it's no big deal to drive while "buzzed," think again. A recent University of California, San Diego, study suggests that buzzed drivers - those who have consumed alcohol yet remain under the legal limit - present a substantial threat to other drivers on the road even after a single drink. A car accident attorney in Columbus can help victims to pursue compensation against drunk drivers, including those who were buzzed and caused an accident. Contact the Smith Law Office for a free consultation.
Study suggests "buzzed" drivers present significant behind-the-wheel risk
According to Fox News, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, conducted the study using traffic crash data from more than 570,000 fatal accidents across the United States between 1994 and 2011 to determine the effects of alcohol on drivers within the "legal limit" of .08 percent.
The first-of-its-kind study used blood alcohol content measurements from drivers involved in each accident, focusing solely on drivers with a blood alcohol level of .01 to .07 percent. Fox News said researchers took into account clear indicators of blame in each accident, such as which driver ran a red light or drove in the wrong lane prior to the accident, to reach a startling conclusion: there is simply no safe level of alcohol in the blood stream when it comes to driving.
Researchers found that drivers with a blood alcohol content level of just .01 were 46 percent more likely to be solely blamed for a fatal car crash than the sober driver they collided with, according to Fox News. A blood alcohol content of .01 constitutes one-half of a 12 ounce beer consumed over 40 minutes or roughly one drink every 80 minutes.
With drivers facing the possibility of impairment after just a single drink, Fox News said researchers found the possibility of blame for an accident increased steadily as blood alcohol content level increased. Furthermore, the University of California, San Diego study suggests the difference between a legally drunk driver and a "buzzed" driver to be negligible, with no great change in driving ability taking place between .07 and .08.
What is a "safe" blood alcohol content limit for drivers?
University of California researchers told Fox News they believe the United States should follow the footsteps of several European countries in lowering legal BAC limits for drivers to .05. In some countries, such as Japan and Sweden, legal blood alcohol content levels for drivers are even lower.
Even if legal BAC levels were lowered to .05, though, researchers warned that drivers still present an increased risk of accident. Currently, only minors under the age 21 (.02 BAC limit) and commercial truck drivers (.04 BAC limit) face stiffened restrictions in the United States.
No matter what a driver's blood alcohol content might be, however, it's important to realize that "buzzed" driving is a form of impaired driving that researchers have linked to a dramatic increase in car accident risk. Make the responsible choice and don't drink and drive. Your safest bet is to drive sober.
The Smith Law Office serves clients throughout Columbus, OH. Call 800-930-SCOTT today to schedule a free consultation.