Will Lowering the DUI Threshold to a BAC of .05 Decrease the Number of Drunk Driving Accidents?

Some of the most dangerous types of car accidents are drunk driving accidents. When drunk people get behind the wheel, there’s no telling how reckless they’ll be. Too many innocent people have been injured or even killed thanks to drunk drivers.

It’s not just the United States that has a problem with drunk driving. Scotland deals with this issue too. They thought that lowering the BAC level required for drunk driving from 0.08% to 0.05% they’d see a drop in the number of drunk driving accidents.

Study in Scotland

Scotland conducted a study from 2014 until 2018 to see if the number of road traffic accidents decreased with the reduced BAC requirements. They did not. In fact, they went up.

Almost all states have a threshold BAC of 0.08% in their drunk driving laws.  This isn’t an arbitrary number. Studies have shown that this amount is indicative of someone who is truly intoxicated. So it’s a good idea to look at the Scotland study to see how a reduction of the BAC may impact traffic accidents here.

In the Scotland study, they compared the number of traffic accidents before and after the BAC was reduced to .05%. They found that not only did the number of accidents not go down, but it also went up by 7%.

Also, they compared the numbers to those in England and Wales where the BAC level remained at 0.08%. They found that the number of traffic accidents in Scotland were no lower than in these other countries where the BAC wasn’t decreased.

The Scotland study looked at the number of road traffic accidents generally. They didn’t specifically look at drunk driving accidents. If they did, these numbers could be interpreted differently. There is a chance that drunk driving accidents went down, but other types of traffic accidents went up. There is simply no way to know for sure.

If the Scotland study proves anything, it’s that lowering the BAC for drunk driving does not necessarily deter drunk driving. People who drink and drive are going to do it no matter what the law says. It’s almost as if they have a total disregard for the law.

Contact a DUI Attorney

Lowering the BAC here in the United States doesn’t seem to work either. They’ve tried it in both Utah and Washington D.C. and saw no marked difference in the number of drunk driving accidents. Clearly, before we make widespread changes to our drunk driving laws, we need to do a little more homework. If you’ve been charged with DUI, contact a Greenville DUI attorney John Bateman. Schedule your initial consultation and discuss your case with an experienced DUI lawyer.