Blood Alcohol Content

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The thought of alcohol being involved in fatal crashes brings about an emotional response. Recently, there has been a movement based on emotion rather than logic to change a certain drinking and driving law. This involves lowering the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) from 0.10% to 0.08% nationwide. However, this attention is misdirected. By looking at my personal experiences, statistics, and current laws, it is clear that there is no need for lowering the BAC. First off, I do not drink. Yet, I’ve had many experiences relating to drinking and driving through my friends. One thing I’ve noticed is that it is extremely hard for people to tell if they are legally drunk or not. Furthermore, I have never heard any of my friends say that they feel that they should drive home because they have only a .09% BAC. The law has very little effect on how many drinks a person decides to consume. Therefore, lowering the legal drunk limit will not result in people acting more responsible. Supporters of lowering the BAC like Judith Lee Stone in her essay “YES!” think they are targeting the problem of drunken driving, but the real problem lies within the higher BACs. Ninety three percent of fatal accidents are 0.10% BAC and above, and half of those ninety three percent have a BAC of 0.20% and above. The average BAC for fatal accidents is at actually at 0.17%. This seems like a more logical target for new laws then 0.08%. Furthermore, Stone asks “Who would want their children in a car driven by someone who has consumed three, four, or even more beers in an hour” (Stone 46)? I couldn’t agree more. However, this common argument from the pro-0.08% side is more like a parent responsibility question. They use this to manipulate our emotion by putting an innocent child in an improbable and unrelated situation. She also goes on to state, “A study at Boston University found that 500 to 600 fewer highway deaths would occur annually if all states adopted 0.08%” (Stone 47). On the other hand, a...
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