Las Vegas Metro Police Dept

Don’t Drink and Drive! Understanding BAC

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Las Vegas Metro Police DeptThe I Car Platinum Individuals and ASE Certified Technicians at New Look Collision Centers have seen their share of vehicles that have been in accidents caused by intoxicated drivers.  New Look Collision Centers have been in business since 2004 and are factory certified by 7 auto makers, and are one of the top rated collision centers in Las Vegas.  They are a “Gold Class” Certified and Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles “Class A Certified” shop.

Never get behind the wheel if you’ve had a couple of drinks or even think you can’t drive with optimum performance.
In mid-May, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a set of targeted interventions to eliminate alcohol-impaired driving crashes which has stirred up some controversy.   Nineteen recommendations called for stronger laws, swifter enforcement and expanded use of technology.

“Most Americans think that we’ve solved the problem of impaired driving, but in fact, it’s still a national epidemic,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said.  “On average, every hour one person is killed and 20 more are injured.”

Every year 10,000 people are killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers and more than 173,000 are injured, with 27,000 suffer incapacitating injuries.  Since the mid-1990s, even as total highway fatalities have fallen, the proportion of deaths from accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver has remained constant at around 30 percent.  In the last 30 years, nearly 440,000 people have died in alcohol related crashes.   Think of it as the casualties from another war America is fighting.  In addition, this says nothing of the pain and suffering of those who a  father, mother, or child have left behind.

NTSB investigators argue that at even 0.05 BAC, (and the legal limit for most drivers across the nation is 0.08 BAC,) most drivers experience a decline in both cognitive and visual functions.  Over 100 countries on six continents have BAC limits set at 0.05 or lower.  The NTSB has asked all 50 states to do the same.

“The research clearly shows that drivers with a BAC above 0.05 are impaired and at a significantly greater risk of being involved in a crash where someone is killed or injured,” said Hersman.

Among the other findings, investigators said that high-visibility enforcement efforts, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols paired with media campaigns do deter alcohol-impaired driving.  And to increase the effectiveness of these programs, the NTSB recommended that police use passive alcohol sensors to help better detect alcohol vapor in the ambient environment.

In December 2012 the NTSB recommended states require ignition interlocks for all DWI offenders, since about one in four offenders ordered to have an interlock actually have one installed, states should employ measures to improve interlock compliance.

The NTSB Board didn’t stop there. They said an intervention known as administrative license suspension, allowing law enforcement authorities to immediately suspend or revoke a driver’s license at the time of a DWI arrest, would be more effective if states required offenders to have an ignition interlock on their vehicles before licenses could be fully reinstated.

The NTSB applauded DWI courts which hold offenders accountable through intensive monitoring, treatment for underlying disorders, alcohol testing and graduated sanctions.

As if people “don’t know how to drive,” more than 60 percent of wrong-way crashes were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers.
In 2011, almost 500 people died from aviation crashes, 760 in rail accidents, 800 in marine accidents and nearly 10,000 in impaired driving crashes.

“Alcohol-impaired crashes are not accidents,” said Hersman. “They are crimes. They can – and should – be prevented.  The tools exist. What is needed is the will.”
In Nevada, The BAC applies only to alcohol.  If any detectable amount of an illegal substance―like cocaine or marijuana―is found in your blood, you’ll receive at least the same penalties as you would for alcohol, and perhaps even more severe.
It has take years for the current 0.08 BAC to be a law of the land – though it’s actually a law of each state by state.   The NTSB would like to see the new 0.05 BAC level be put forth federally so it can be the same across the country thereby saving millions of lives over the next 10-20 years.  It took 14 years for the State of Nevada to drop its BAC limit to 0.08 once it was recommended by the NTSB.

Driving while under the influence is something that is completely within our control.  These are senseless loses.  Join New Look Collisions Centers in this fight, by simply handing over your keys once you’ve had a couple drinks and that buzzed feeling starts to arise!