Our law firm vigorously pursues compensation on behalf of clients injured by drunk drivers. While a driver operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) is penalized by an administrative and criminal action, those consequences do not begin to address the pain, injury and death experienced by those hit by a drunk driver. One of the legal measures of a drunk driver is their blood alcohol content (BAC) and in May, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted to recommend lowering the legal BAC from .08 percent to .05 percent. We think that is good news.

The damage done by OVI drivers in Ohio is clear. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were more than 12,000 crashes, 7,574 injuries and 369 deaths related to alcohol in 2011. The NTSB hopes to lower or eliminate those numbers by recommending to each state legislature that they lower their legal BAC to .05 percent.

With a mandate to reduce alcohol impaired crashes to zero, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman noted [t]he 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.

Along with a recommendation to reduce the BAC, the NTSB offered suggestions including:

  • Increased monitoring and treatment of repeat offenders
  • Higher visibility law enforcement efforts
  • Development of in-cab alcohol detection devices
  • Ignition interlock devices for all offenders

Cognitive and physical impairment can begin with the first drink. Any step that reduces death and injury should be considered when so many lives are tragically lost to impaired driving. If injured by a drunk driver in Cleveland, speak with an attorney at our firm, we can help.