Drivers often become impaired well before they hit the legal limit

When Illinois motorists go out for an evening, most probably do not realize that they could cause a severe accident after ingesting only one or two alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, as known by an experienced car accident lawyer, Illinois residents and their neighbors continue to be injured and killed in these accidents every day. Just over the Illinois border in St. Louis, a young man and his two teenage sisters were recently killed and another passenger sustained serious injury when he failed to use safe speeds while rounding a curve in the road. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the vehicle reached speeds as high as 68 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. The driver also had a blood alcohol content of 0.014 percent, which is below the legal limit of .02 percent for underage drinkers. Law enforcement officials believe alcohol was a contributing factor to the crash.

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Buzzed Before You Know it

Buzzed driving is impaired driving

A recent study found in the journal Injury Prevention concluded that there is no safe amount of alcohol to ingest prior to driving, something every car accident lawyer in Illinois could confidently claim. The study, performed by researchers at the University of California at San Diego, aimed to evaluate whether previous laboratory results that indicated impairment at a BAC of 0.01 percent were accurate in real-world applications. To do so, researchers centered the study on whether those with BAC levels at and around 0.01 percent were more likely to receive official blame for an accident.

About the study

To carry out the study, researchers used data from the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a database with information on all fatal accidents that occur in the nation, and examined the relationship between BAC and sole official blame.  Researchers discovered that even when motorists do not believe they have caused a drunk driving accident, if they have ingested any kind of alcohol in any amount, they are more likely than sober individuals to be assigned sole official blame for their accidents. Data showed that even those who had consumed very little alcohol were 46 percent more likely to be cited as the cause of their accident. Additionally, researchers found no set point at which drivers suddenly went from blameless to guilty, a finding that reiterates that the current legal limit of 0.08 percent is an arbitrary number.

Researchers called for a lowering of the BAC limit to 0.05 percent, a move that they believe has the potential to save thousands of lives in just a few short years. Those who have been injured in an accident where alcohol may have been a contributing factor are encouraged to contact a car accident lawyer in Illinois to discuss their case.

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