NHTSA study shows impact of .05 BAC

Traffic Safety Pulse News

BACNational Transportation Safety Board - A new Evaluation of Utah’s .05 BAC Per Se Law study recently released validated a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) safety recommendation that lowering the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit from .08 to .05 will save lives and increase road safety. NTSB issued the safety recommendation in 2013 to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to establish a BAC limit of .05.

NHTSA found that traffic deaths decreased in Utah after the state enacted a law to lower its impaired driving legal limit to .05 in 2018. According to the study, Utah’s drop in fatal crash and fatality rates — which were 19.8% and 18.3% lower — was a significant improvement over the rest of the United States during the post-implementation year studied, which had a 5.6% fatal crash rate reduction and 5.9% fatality rate reduction in 2019. The neighboring states of Arizona, Colorado and Nevada did not show the same levels of improvement in fatal crash and fatality rates as Utah.

“For almost a decade, NTSB has advocated for lowering the BAC limit to reduce the number of impairment-related crashes,” said NTSB Member Tom Chapman. “This study’s real-world results further prove what we already knew — lowering the BAC limit saves lives in the United States. The hope is that other states will see these results and join Utah in passing legislation for .05.”

A 2017 study estimated that lowering the BAC in every state would likely reduce the number of fatal alcohol crashes by 11%, potentially saving about 1,800 lives a year and preventing thousands more life-altering injuries. Access the NTSB Recommendation of .05 BAC Further Proved by NHTSA Study press release here.