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Photo of attorneys David F. Fessler, Joseph F. Grimme and Timothy E. Schneider

Study: many crash deaths due to drivers with BAC below .08

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2020 | Firm News

Kentucky residents may think that only those with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of .08 are at risk for a crash, but they would be wrong. A study conducted by researchers at the Boston Medical Center has found that a sizeable number of alcohol-related crashes are caused by drivers with a BAC below the legal limit.

They came to their conclusion after analyzing the alcohol-related crash fatalities that were reported between 2000 and 2015. There were 600,000 crash fatalities total, and 37% involved a driver with alcohol in his or her blood. Of these, 15% involved a driver with a BAC below .08, and 55% of these fatalities were people other than the drinking driver.

The study found that more restrictive alcohol policies can decrease the number of alcohol-related crash fatalities by 9%. Many countries have set the legal BAC limit to .05. The National Transportation Safety Board has long recommended this step, and Utah is one state that has followed suit.

Some experts argue that the legal limit should be set to .03 since impairment can begin even at that level. The study’s authors maintain that drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of injury-related death in the U.S. Their results were published March 2020 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Those who suffer auto accident injuries and who were not to blame for them have the right to seek compensation under personal injury law. Kentucky being a no-fault state, though, victims can only do so if they have suffered serious injuries or disabilities. Technically, it doesn’t matter what their degree of contributory negligence was since this state follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, but any degree of fault will make a case harder to argue. Victims may want legal assistance.