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National Transportation Safety Board Urges States to Reduce Allowable Blood-Alcohol Limit

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Car accidents in Cape Cod occur as a result of many different potential factors: distracted driving, speeding, failing to obey other traffic safety laws, and one of the most deadly — driving under the influence of alcohol.  Victims of any of these kinds of accidents are usually entitled to compensation for injuries sustained. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, it is essential that you contact a local personal injury attorney to help secure the fairest recovery for your suffering.

The government is currently trying to reduce the number of accidents due to drivers who have been drinking alcohol. The National Transportation Safety Board (the “NTSB”) recently announced a recommendation that states cut the permissible blood-alcohol concentration by a third, from .08 percent to .05 percent.  The change is suggested due to the number of deaths and injuries caused by drivers who have not reached the current legal standard of .08 percent, but who nonetheless are driving impaired with a compromised ability to make decisions, see or operate a vehicle.

According to the news article, approximately 30 percent of all vehicle fatalities are linked to drunken driving.  To put it another way, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that each day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Sadly, these numbers translate to one death every 48 minutes. On a more local level, in 2011, the State of Massachusetts recorded 114 alcohol-related fatalities.

All of this information fails to indicate the number of victims who suffer other kinds of injuries as a result of an accident with a driver under the influence.  Injuries can range from mild cuts and abrasions to more serious matters such as brain trauma, broken bones and even paralysis.  It is no wonder that the NTSB is seeking to help reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents.  The agency is hoping that the lower limit will decrease drinking and driving among social drinkers as well as heavy drinkers.

This effort is not without opposition from various groups.  Some argue that decreasing the limit to .05 percent would criminalize what would ordinarily be considered “perfectly responsible behavior.”  And further, it is suggested that the heavier drinkers will not be deterred by the reduction in the blood-alcohol limit.  But the government cites statistics revealing that people who have a blood-alcohol level of .05 percent are 38 percent more likely to get into an accident than others who have not been drinking.  Incredibly, additional statistics show that drivers with a level of .08 percent are 169 percent more likely to have an accident.

Whether the recommended change takes place in Cape Cod or anywhere else in the country, drivers will still get into car accidents and injure innocent people.  If this happens to you, the best course of action is to contact an experienced, local personal injury attorney to help you secure a fair and just recovery for your unanticipated suffering and losses.

Local attorney, John C. Manoog III, has extensive experience handling car accident cases for injured victims in Cape Cod.  For a free initial consultation, call the office at 888-262-6664 or reach us by email.  There is always someone available to talk to you about your case.

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