You don’t have to be legally intoxicated to be involved in a drunk driving accident in Indianapolis. A new study shows that a significant percentage of motorists in fatal alcohol-related car accidents involve motorists whose blood alcohol levels were below the legal intoxication limits.
According to the results of the study which were published in March in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately 15 percent of drunk driving accident fatalities involve motorists driving with blood alcohol limits that were below the legal limits. The study also found that fatalities involving drivers below the legal intoxication limits were often younger motorists.
The findings should provide impetus to efforts by safety organizations to have the legal blood alcohol limit, which currently stands at .08 percent in most states, lowered to .05 percent. In Indiana, the legal alcohol intoxication limit continues to be .08 percent. You are criminally liable for driving in an intoxicated state only if your blood alcohol level at the time of the crash is at or above .08 percent.
The National Transportation Safety Board as well as other safety organizations in the country have recommended that the legal blood alcohol concentration limit be reduced to .05 percent to further reduce the number of people killed in accidents. The researchers also stressed the necessity of lowering the blood alcohol limit.
The .08 percent blood alcohol limits that are currently in place in Indiana and many other states do not take into account the fact that alcohol intoxication can occur at different levels in different people. Even a person driving with a .05 percent alcohol concentration in his or her blood could possible be at risk of impaired judgment, lowered inhibitions and other accident factors. Driving with a buzz can also place a motorist at risk for accidents. This may be especially true for younger drivers who have lower driving experience, lower alcohol tolerances, and a higher general risk of being involved in accidents.