"Since roughly 1980, we've been at this high level of about 10,000 deaths per year and there's been no change", he says. In fact, it even suggests a lower threshold.
The recommendations in the academies' report would "do nothing to deter" repeat offenders and high BAC drivers, who represent the "vast majority" of alcohol-impaired driving deaths, the Distilled Spirits Council said in a statement.
To lower the number of traffic-related deaths, the National Academies advisory committee calls for the implementation of preventive policies that include reducing the current blood alcohol concentration limit to 0.05 percent.
The state of Utah has already passed a law that would lower the legal blood alcohol limit for driving to 0.05 percent, the strictest in the nation, which goes into effect December 30, 2018, according to the Associated Press. "The plateauing fatality rates indicate that what has been done to decrease deaths from alcohol-impaired driving has been working but is no longer sufficient to reverse this growing public health problem".
"The problem isn't intractable", the report said. For 2010, the total economic cost of drunk driving crashes was $121.5 billion, which includes medical costs, damages, earning losses, and legal costs. A Utah law passed previous year that lowers the state's threshold to 0.05 doesn't go into effect until December 30. In 2015, 48 percent of drunken driving fatalities occurred in rural areas.
"Frequent" sobriety checkpoints should be set up by states and localities.
Municipalities should promote and increase alternative transportation options, especially during nighttime hours and weekends - and especially in rural areas.
Ignition interlock should be required for anyone ever caught drunk driving.
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