Lowering Blood-Alcohol Concentration [BAC] Limits for Drivers DOES Reduce Crashes

[This article was first published, by the same author, on the ‘Drive and Stay Alive’ website in 2003, but the photograph is new.]

A… study conducted by the Styrian Austrian Road Safety Board reviewed the effects of lowering the BAC from .08 to .05 percent in Styria.  Comparing 1998, when the new BAC went into effect, to 1997, the decline in alcohol-related crashes amounted to 11.6 percent.

Photo: Government of South Australia — another country that has great success combatting drunk driving.

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How the Fear of Guns Makes Road Safety Worse in the USA

I don’t use my horn, in case the other guy’s got a gun!”

This is only one way in which American road safety culture is adversely affected by the fear of violent retribution, but let’s deal with this aspect first.

It is actually dangerous to yourself to use the horn in this way, but more about that in another article!

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Four Teenage Girls Killed in a June 2019 NE Crash — but Alcohol is NOT the Only Issue

11:12pm, June 17, 2019.  180th and Platteview Road, Papillion, Nebraska.

The five occupants of the crashed Ford Fusion.  Only one survived.  [Submitted photo.]
According to a Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office press release of July 16, 2019, a Ford Fusion, being driven by Abigail Barth (16), was heading east along Platteview Road at an estimated speed in excess of 90mph when it left the roadway and “ultimately came to rest in a creek and caught on fire. Tragically, four of the five occupants of the vehicle were killed in the crash.”
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Combatting Drunk-Driving in the USA

Back in 1992, the World Medical Association [WMA] recommended that no country in the world should permit drivers to have a blood-alcohol concentration [BAC] higher than 0.05 percent, on the basis that medical research had proved anything above this level created an unacceptable level of risk.

In countries which have led the battle against deaths and injuries caused by drinking and driving, the push now is to change the safety culture until people reach the point where they accept the wisdom outlined in this excellent advertisement from the Heineken company.

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Cruelty to Animals is now a Federal Felony yet a Drunk Driver Killing Someone is Not

According to ABC News, animal cruelty is now a federal felony.We have no problem with this scenario whatsoever, except to ask that if animal cruelty warrants classification as a federal felony, why are people who drive drunk, drugged, distracted or plain dangerously, and kill someone as a result, not treated in the same ‘federal felony’ manner?

What is this if not an astonishing and frankly inexplicable imbalance of priorities?

An Excellent, Uncompromising Message about Drinking and Driving

In the 1960s, as a boy still at home with my parents, I started to see early road safety messages on British television, and key among these were film clips about not drinking alcohol and then driving.

The following decade, I joined the police — first in a three-year cadetship in which college played a major role, then as an officer.  And during those early police years, I started to more fully understand the tragic devastation caused by people who drink alcohol before driving.

 The video above is from 1978, my second year on Traffic Patrol

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