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Amid surging DWI rates, advocates say it’s time to lower BAC to 0.05 in New York

Amidst a worrying rise in drunk driving fatalities, particularly pronounced during December, advocates are intensifying their campaign for tougher blood alcohol concentration laws as 2024 arrives. This period is historically one of the deadliest for drunk driving incidents.

The surge in such deaths, with December marking the highest national toll in 15 years, has catalyzed calls for legislative action. In New York State alone, 2022 witnessed a staggering 30% increase in alcohol-related fatalities compared to the past five years, totaling 335 deaths. This alarming trend is driving advocacy groups to urge the New York State legislature to lower the legal B.A.C. limit from 0.08 to 0.05.

William Aiken, President of Remove Intoxicated Drivers, emphasizes that the existing laws against impairment are insufficient, as evidenced by the consistent fatalities. He advocates for laws that effectively reduce such incidents, citing the failure of current regulations. International studies support this push, showing an 11% decrease in fatal alcohol-related crashes following the reduction of the B.A.C. limit to 0.05.

This level equates to roughly four drinks in two hours for an average male, and three for an average female. Following Utah’s lead, which in 2019 became the first state to adopt the 0.05 B.A.C. limit, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is recommending all states to implement similar measures to curb the escalating crisis of drunk driving deaths.

Categories: New York StateNews