In Ohio, the legal blood alcohol content limit is .08 percent. Drivers who have a BAC higher than the legal limit are considered to be operating a vehicle while impaired and can face criminal charges. Operating a vehicle while impaired is very dangerous and continues to cause fatal car accidents in Ohio and throughout the country.
Drunk driving awareness campaigns have focused on making sure drivers who are legally impaired find a sober ride. While this is an important message, a new study suggests that drivers with BAC percentages below the legal limit still pose a danger on the road.
The study found driving with a low blood level of alcohol still increases the risk of fatal car accidents. The study claims drivers with a BAC of .01 percent had a 46 percent higher chance of causing a car accident compared to sober drivers. The study also found the risk of causing a car accident increased the higher a person’s BAC level was, up to .24 percent.
The researchers said their findings show that driving with any amount of alcohol in your system is risky and increases the chances of an accident. However, state laws only address the dangers of drivers with a BAC of .08 percent or higher. The researchers said state laws should be revised to create harsher penalties for drivers with alcohol in their system, even small amounts.
The researchers said their study shows why legislators should lower the legal limit to at least .05 percent like many other countries have done throughout the world. The chances of Ohio changing their drunk driving laws anytime soon isn’t likely. However, drivers should take this study into consideration the next time they are drinking alcohol, and takes steps to make sure they have a sober driver to make sure everyone gets home safely.
Source: 13 ABC, “‘Buzzed’ drivers who are under legal limit to blame in many fatal crashes,” Jan. 23, 2014