State Considering Lower BAC Level Laws on Holiday Weekends


night walking (marfis75)Car accidents strike in Atlanta and throughout Georgia on a daily basis. However, during November and December there is actually an increased risk of one particular type of accident–drunk driving crashes.

The holiday season is a festive time, with many parties, happy hours, and other events scheduled. Alcohol is frequently a part of these galas. Unfortunately, too many individuals fail to take precautions after consuming alcohol, often getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Thousands of residents are injured and killed each year as a result of these preventable drunk driving accidents.

Cracking Down on Holiday Drunk Driving Crashes

Georgia officials engage in many awareness campaigns throughout the year to encourage responsible practices, like the use of designated drivers. Those awareness campaigns are usually coupled with  stepped up DUI enforcement programs, with the goal of getting drunk drivers off the street as efficiently as possible.

In recent months, some officials have discussed whether or not it is prudent to change the DUI blood-alcohol content threshold for holiday weekends, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. The idea is that the change will act as even further incentive to prevent those who are “on the border” of legal intoxication to drive after holiday gatherings.

How Much Is Too Much?

Much of the discussion around changing the law stems from research published this year which suggests that the typical .08% threshold is too high–allowing many intoxicated drivers to risk lives without legal ramifications.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has already made recommendations that all states lower legal thresholds to  0.05% on a permanent basis. While most states are not yet close to heeding that recommendation, some are entertaining the idea of making the change for holiday weekends.

The basis of the NTSB recommendations are recent inquiries into the practical difference between being “drunk” and being “buzzed.” Some argue that alcohol in any amount affects the Central Nervous System, which leads to impaired vision, longer reaction times, and failed muscular coordination. Alcohol also decreases a person’s inhibitions, and also impairs judgment, which can be dangerous.

While there is little likelihood that Georgia legislators will change the law this season, it remains critical for all travelers to be aware of the risks when on the road during the holidays. If your or a loved one is harmed by a drunk driver, it is critical to protect your legal rights. For help ensuring full accountability and redress in these situations, please feel free to contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter at 404-814-8949, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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 (Photo courtesy of marfis75)