Statistics from a state that instituted stricter drunk driving laws seem to indicate that a similar law change in other states could benefit the public. How could stricter drunk driver laws keep people safer?
Utah changed its legal limit
In almost every state in the country, the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving is 0.08%. Drivers with a BAC over the legal limit will get arrested and charged with drunk driving even if they didn’t display signs of obvious impairment at the wheel.
Utah reduced the legal limit for alcohol and saw a significant reduction in drunk driving crashes. In 2018, Utah changed the BAC limit for drunk driving from 0.08% to 0.05%. In the following years, the state reported a nearly 20% decrease in both drunk driving crashes and alcohol-related traffic deaths.
If Tennessee were to implement a similar policy, it might mean more people would face arrest for drunk driving as people adjust to the new law. However, the long-term results may be fewer tragic fatalities and severe car crashes that leave people with debilitating injuries.
Stricter laws might benefit those affected by drunk drivers
As the current rules criminalizing drunk driving make abundantly clear, the law itself is not an adequate deterrent for everyone. However, the risk of getting arrested may stop some people from getting behind the wheel after drinking. Those that make the wrong choice and drive while drunk could face prosecution.
A lower standard for violating driving laws could mean that more individuals hurt by drunk drivers would have stronger cases in civil court for personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits as well. Exploring how to make the roads safer requires constant evaluation of existing policy.