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Should the drunk driving limit be increased at Christmas

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23 hours ago, jamo said:

Jesus Christ. No.

+1.

But in my state it's 0.08 BAC. I don't know what yours is. Even still, I think 0.08 BAC is way too high. I think the limit should be 0.04 BAC or less, personally.

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1 hour ago, mcanadiens said:

I'd be curious to know what proportion of alcohol-related vehicle accidents are tied to specific blood-alcohol levels. .02-.04, .05 -.06, .07-.08, etc. etc. There unfortunately are people that will get ripped, drive and cause accidents. I'm guessing most of them are well over .1. Those are the people that need to lose licenses immediately.

Where I'm at, the 5-0 generally has their breathalyzers calibrated to make a .05 read .08. That gives the law enforcement some cheap DUI busts off safe drivers that may have had a couple of beers with dinner.

From the NHTSA 

file:///C:/Users/jscott/Downloads/2014%20Traffic%20Safety%20Fact%20Sheet%20ALCOHOL-IMPAIRED%20DRIVING.pdf

" While BAC of .08 g/dL is considered to be impaired in all States, the large majority of drivers in fatal crashes with any measurable alcohol had levels far higher. In 2014, 84 percent (9,417) of the 11,231 drivers with BACs of .01 g/dL or higher who were involved in fatal crashes had BAC levels at or above .08 g/dL, and 56 percent (6,324) had BAC levels at or above .15 g/dL. Among the 9,967 alcohol-impaireddriving fatalities in 2014, 69 percent (6,852) were in crashes in which at least one driver in the crash had a BAC of .15 g/dL or higher. Figure 3 presents the distribution of BACs for those drivers with any alcohol in their systems. The most frequently recorded BACs among drinking drivers in fatal crashes were tied at .14 and .16 g/dL.

So what this says to me, is that we are looking for the wrong drivers (0.08), instead of the ones that are more impaired (over 0.15) and any fatality is too many, but if you are stopping and checking people at 0.08 or under, you are not out looking for the drivers who are truly impaired and the ones causing the most problems.  But it's easy to have a lower limit and feel like you're tough against drunk driving and if you read the report there is no change on the percentage of DUI fatalities from 2005 to 2014.   And at the end of the day, there were 44,583 total fatalities of which 9,417 (21%) are people over 0.08, which means that 35,166 are killed in car accidents not involved in an alcohol-impaired accident, which is tragic in it's own right, but largely ignored due to DUI enforcement.  

 

 

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27 minutes ago, jsgolfer said:

The most frequently recorded BACs among drinking drivers in fatal crashes were tied at .14 and .16 g/dL.

And that's a ton of alcohol. Good work on that @jsgolfer.

I think I may have gotten up there towards the end of the Penn St - Wisconsin game on Saturday, but I was safe and sound at home and had been for some time.

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A 0.15 would be (on average) about 8 full drinks in a 1 hour period, or 9 drinks in a 2.5 hour period, etc. That a crap ton of alcohol to the average person and most people would be pretty damn impaired. I for one can guarantee I would be sloshed. If I've had even 4 drinks in that time frame I know in my heart that it isn't very safe for me to drive. 

Edited by jkelley9

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Well, the NHTSA data sheet for 2014 is available here:

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/812231

According to the last table there,  36% of fatalities (11,731 of 32,675) in 2014 involved a driver who tested positive for alcohol. About 31% (9967) involved a driver who tested at a BAC of .08 or higher. But 21% (6852) involved a driver who tested at .15 or higher. 

So if you changed the definition of impairment from a BAC of .08 or higher to a BAC of .15 or higher, that would reduce the number of fatalities caused by impaired drivers by over 3,000 deaths (3115 in 2014). 

And of course, we should do anything we can to reduce the number of deaths caused by impaired drivers!  :-P

 

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13 hours ago, acerimusdux said:

. So if you changed the definition of impairment from a BAC of .08 or higher to a BAC of .15 or higher, that would reduce the number of fatalities caused by impaired drivers by over 3,000 deaths (3115 in 2014).

Incorrect, you assume that by increasing the legal limit people will just obey. How many people drive above the limit and don't get caught?

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I've always taken the firm stance that if I have or plan to drink at all, even one drink, I will not drive. Too many people I am related to or am friends with have gotten DUIs for me to think it's worth any chance. Besides that, I like to drink stuff with much higher alcohol. I understand that people like to have a drink or two while they are out, and as long as they know their limits and are able to stay in a safe driving capacity I don't mind. Unfortunately, a lot of people think they are "OK" when they aren't. Increasing the threshold for a ticket isn't going to change it for the better, it'll just make people think they can drink more and still be fine. However, someone who is fine at .06 may not be fine at .09 leading to an accident. So, to me, raising the limit has way more negative possibilities than anything.

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13 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

I've always taken the firm stance that if I have or plan to drink at all, even one drink, I will not drive. Too many people I am related to or am friends with have gotten DUIs for me to think it's worth any chance. Besides that, I like to drink stuff with much higher alcohol. I understand that people like to have a drink or two while they are out, and as long as they know their limits and are able to stay in a safe driving capacity I don't mind. Unfortunately, a lot of people think they are "OK" when they aren't. Increasing the threshold for a ticket isn't going to change it for the better, it'll just make people think they can drink more and still be fine. However, someone who is fine at .06 may not be fine at .09 leading to an accident. So, to me, raising the limit has way more negative possibilities than anything.

Someone who has been drinking is the least qualified of all to determine how capable they are of driving.  I've had drunk friends tell me they don't feel a thing then watched them stagger to get another beer.  I'm not sure if it's ego or delusion but drunks never like to admit they're drunk.  

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52 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Incorrect, you assume that by increasing the legal limit people will just obey. How many people drive above the limit and don't get caught?

I think he was being tongue in cheek. If you raise the impairment limit, the amount of "impaired" drivers will go down, because you've changed the meaning of "impaired."

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7 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

Someone who has been drinking is the least qualified of all to determine how capable they are of driving.  I've had drunk friends tell me they don't feel a thing then watched them stagger to get another beer.  I'm not sure if it's ego or delusion but drunks never like to admit they're drunk.  

I know what you mean, but I meant more those people who are able to stick to whatever their limit is. Most of my friends, at this point, know when they've had too much. Of course, that's due to years of not knowing when they've reached that point and have paid the consequences. 

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9 hours ago, jamo said:

I think he was being tongue in cheek. If you raise the impairment limit, the amount of "impaired" drivers will go down, because you've changed the meaning of "impaired."

Yeah, I was being a smart-ass. That's 3,000 people who are still dead, even if you declare the driver "legal".

Seriously, I don't see a good reason in that data to raise the limit. Table 3 on that data sheet, breaking down accidents by BAC level, does show that the number of accidents peaks at .14-.16, but it also looks like it starts to climb significantly towards that peak after about .05.

In fact the number of fatalities involving drivers tested at .09 is almost double the number involving drivers tested at .03. And I can't think of any reason there would likely be more drivers on the road with at .09 than at .03. It's more likely the opposite is the case. So by .09, I think probably at least half of the fatalities recorded could have been prevented had the driver been sober.

And, even if you want to focus on stopping drivers at the higher levels, you don't know the actual level until you test them. Well if you are testing anyway, is there any reason not to have some sanction on drivers who test at .08?

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On 12/6/2016 at 8:04 AM, mcanadiens said:

Where I'm at, the 5-0 generally has their breathalyzers calibrated to make a .05 read .08. That gives the law enforcement some cheap DUI busts off safe drivers that may have had a couple of beers with dinner.

Do you have proof of this?

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FWIW, the guy who hit us was at .06 a little over an hour after the wreck. He died at the scene. Through some fancy forensic number crunching the lawyer for his surving family members maintained he was between .08 and .10 at the time of the accident. 

You might think I just made an error, but that's not the case. The family of the deceased drunk driver sued the club, and their bar tender for continuing to serve him, letting him get drunk, and for letting him leave their club impaired. 

In Nevada, anyone dealing in the selling alcohol has to take a class, pass a test, and recieve a "TAM" card. I'm not sure what "TAM" stands for, but it requires the server to know when enough alcohol is enough.  

EDIT: My wife just told the card is only required in Clark County, not the whole state. Plus it is no longer called a TAM card, and is now called an Alcohol Awareness Card (AAC) :whistle:

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On 12/5/2016 at 8:58 PM, saevel25 said:

Overall the number of vehicle related deaths have been on a decrease since the 1950's. When it was in the 7's for fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles to now it's near 1.10 to 1.5. 

Also, lowering the intoxication level will not stop the fatalities. People in the US will just still drink and drive. We've been on this for decades and it's still a primary driver of vehicle fatalities. How many people do drink and drive and don't get caught? 

Laws are not always the best deterrent. 

True, our roads are safer now than they've been in a long time, maybe ever! And I applaud the efforts in that direction. As for myself, I try to avoid driving on holiday eves, which is when a lot of partyers are about. The one exception is Christmas Eve, when the family will gather at a local steak house for dinner. I will have one glass of really good red wine with my steak, and then proceed home. 

To saevel's point, I think a mistake is being made by those trying to reduce the fatality rate to zero. I believe these folks are on a fool's errand since they are pursuing perfection, and perfection does not exist. Even if everyone drove stone cold sober 100% of the time, there will still be fatalities. Primarily due to driver inattentiveness at the wheel! How many folks have you seen out there with their noses in their cell phones?

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The sad part is that many drunk drivers in NY are repeat offenders and have already lost their license due to DWI so they drive without a license or insurance.  There's no way to stop those individuals short of putting them in jail.  

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If anything, the limit should be lowered. I'm quite happy with the 0.02% limit we got in Norway. Many argue that it could be a little higher so one could enjoy one glass of something and still drive, but I don't mind.

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13 hours ago, colin007 said:

Do you have proof of this?

Yeah. I was wearing a wire while I was talking with this chap. Also had a camera hidden behind the wall during the conversation. ... I'm gonna take em all down.

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Note: This thread is 981 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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