Should The USA Follow Scotland’s Example And Drop The Blood Alcohol Limit?

blood-alcohol-limitIs a lower blood alcohol limit the key to lowering drunk driving rates in the United States? If use use Scotland as an example, it just may be.

Drunk driving offenses have fallen in Scotland recently, and the country is attributing that decline to the introduction of a lower blood alcohol limit. Before the country allowed drivers to have up to a .08 blood alcohol limit, but they’ve dropped it to .05 as of December 4th, 2014.

Once the new blood alcohol limit came into effect, the country saw a drastic decline in drunk driving offenses—within the first 3 months of the New Year, driving under the influence (DUI) offenses fell by 17%. Data also showed that there were big changes during the month December when the new law passed—that same period had 1,209 DUI offenses in 2013 and only 997 in 2014.

How many drinks does it take to reach .05? For most people, it could only take a single drink before you reach the legal limit. That’s why Scotland police feel as though they’ve seen the huge drop. It seems that most people understand that one drink could have immediate and serious long term consequences.

Now that Scotland has seen such a huge improvement, will the United States stand up and drop the blood alcohol limit to .05? Way back in 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the blood alcohol limit be lowered to .05. At that time neither Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), AAA, or The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would endorse the recommendation. As of today, the blood alcohol limit across every state is still .08.

Maybe the big drop in DUI rates in Scotland will be enough to kick off another recommendation to drop the limit to .05. Coupled with many states requiring ignition interlock devices for all offenders, thousands of lives could be saved.

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