What Philadelphia Drivers Should Know About BAC Standard And Drunk Driving Accidents
People who drink and drive may be aware of the consequences of their actions, yet many of them do it anyway. While law enforcement officers work hard to keep drunk drivers off the road, many of them go undetected, potentially putting someone’s life at risk.
One of the deadliest holidays for drunk driving is just around the corner: Thanksgiving. In fact, between 2012 and 2016, the US saw more than 800 traffic fatalities during the entire Thanksgiving period, which ranges from Wednesday evening to Monday morning.
Unfortunately, alcohol impairment can be a gray area. While some motorists who drink and drive may be in compliance with the Pennsylvania blood alcohol content standard of .08, any amount of intoxication can still affect a driver’s judgment and reaction time.
Can a lower BAC level be a factor in a drunk driving accident?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, that in 2017, there were 10,497 traffic fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers. Approximately 2,017 of those fatalities involved drivers with BAC levels ranging from .01 to .07. That means legal BAC level accounted for around 19 percent of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities – a high enough percentage to indicate that many people who are within the legal limit are still not safe to drive.
Lower BAC levels can affect drivers in the following ways:
- .02 can cause mild loss in judgment, eye functions, and ability to perform more than one task at the same time
- .05 can cause some loss of muscle-control, judgment, alertness, coordination, and reaction time
Local drunk driving statistics
According to the most recent traffic accident report by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), 2017 saw a total of 1,137 traffic fatalities statewide, with 293 of them attributed to alcohol impairment. This marked a slight decrease in road deaths from 2016 (which had 297 alcohol-related fatalities).
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, it’s important that you know your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for any medical expenses or other losses associated with your crash.
An experienced Philadelphia auto accident attorney can thoroughly investigate your crash and use crucial evidence to help you build a solid claim. Even if the at-fault driver complied with the Pennsylvania BAC standard, any trace of alcohol in his or her system is evidence of impairment.