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Lower BAC limits on the horizon

In a story that has been sweeping the nation, an increasing number of federal and state officials are committed to lowering drunk driving car accident risks by also lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit for Montana drivers. National Transportation Safety Board recommendations released earlier this month state the current limit of 0.08 percent should be dropped to 0.05 percent in order to save lives and decrease injury throughout the nation. The recommendations come on the anniversary of one of the worst drunk driving crashes in history, when an intoxicated driver killed 24 children and three adults after striking a bus in Kentucky.

Drunk driving is responsible for about 10,000 driving deaths every year on American roadways. Proponents of the measure say the 0.05 percent limit would bring our nation in line with more than 100 countries that have already adopted the regulation. Critics say a 0.05 percent BAC would unfairly limit drivers who are not impaired after having a single drink.

In addition to these new limit recommendations, the NTSB has also made recent moves to push for more ignition interlock use for even first-time DUI offenders. Ignition interlocks prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel by requiring breath samples at random intervals, including before starting the car and while driving.

These newly proposed regulations could have a huge impact on the number of traffic deaths in Montana; the state is one of the worst offenders for drunk driving, sharing the dubious honor with Texas and Wisconsin. Of the 2011 roadway fatalities in Montana, a whopping 38 percent were alcohol-related. That adds up to a total of 81 deceased victims on the state's road in a single year.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving collision, you deserve financial compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Do not suffer in silence. Seek the informed opinion of a qualified personal injury attorney to find out more about your legal and financial options.

Source:  www.nbcmontana.com, "Officials propose stricter DUI laws" Scott Zoltan, May. 14, 2013

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