DUI Limit Lowered By Scotland and Lithuania
January 23, 2015
The DUI limit has been lowered in Scotland and Lithuania in conformance with the DUI laws in most of the rest of western Europe. Scotland lowered its DUI limit from .08 down to .05. Lithuania, which already had a general DUI limit of .04, lowered its DUI limit down to .02 for novice and commercial drivers.
A lot of Americans view Europe as having a lax attitude toward alcohol and that may be the case in certain countries but when it comes to drinking and driving, Europe has a low tolerance level. In fact, some of the old Eastern Bloc nations, including Russia, have a DUI limit of .00 or .01.
Most of the western European nations have long since adopted a DUI limit of .05. When Switzerland lowered its DUI limits from .08 to .05 in 2005, they experienced a 44% drop in alcohol related highway deaths. England and Wales remain the only western European nations with a DUI limit of .08 and their governments are being pressured to lower their DUI limits to at least .05.
Many safety advocates in the US are calling for a lower DUI limit to at least .05. Studies have shown that a driver’s abilities can be affected by just one drink. Safe driving advocates in the US have long been spreading the word that “buzzed driving is impaired driving.”
Even with the US DUI limit of .08, many drivers are surprised to learn that they can still be arrested for DUI with a lower limit if field sobriety tests show that their abilities are impaired.
Read more: Scotland and Lithuania lower drink drive limit
Cellphone App Warns If You’ve Had Too Much To Drink
December 15, 2014
A new cellphone app produced by the State of Maryland aims to warn you if you’ve had too much to drink. Called ENDUI, as in End DUI, the app was developed under a federal grant in hopes of keeping drunk drivers off the road.
To use the app, the user informs the app of their height, weight, sex, and how many drinks they’ve consumed. Using that information, the app determines their approximate Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). The app can also provide phone numbers for local cab services or designated driver numbers that are pre-programmed by the user.
The app also has games, one of which is a reaction time tester. To test their reaction time, the user must “hit the brakes” each time a pedestrian walks into the path of the car. The game then determines how fast the user reacted and if the user was able to stop in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian.
This app can be helpful but shouldn’t be relied upon for accurate BAC information. For one thing, “one drink” may be hard to determine. Some cocktails, such as Long Island Iced Teas for example, may have three to four shots and contain the alcohol equivalent of up to four drinks. If the user counts that as one drink, the app will be getting bum information.
No one’s metabolic rate is the same and, even though the app can approximate a BAC level based on height, weight, sex, and number of drinks, the only accurate way to measure a person’s BAC is with a breathalyzer. However, it’s better than nothing and serves as a good reminder that someone who has been drinking should take a cab or call a designated driver.
The best thing for anyone who plans to drink anything at all is to have a plan to get home by some other means than by driving their own car. Even one drink can affect your driving abilities. Remember, buzzed driving is impaired driving.
The app is available now on iOS or Android.
Read more: A Cell Phone App to Curb DUIs? States Get Creative to Reduce Drunken Driving
Labor Day Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Campaign Begins
August 22, 2014
Labor Day is near and that means millions of people will be headed to the beach or lake to celebrate the end of summer. Unfortunately, for many, it also means they will be driving drunk or will become the victim of a drunk driver. To prevent that, law enforcement agencies across the nation have already begun cracking down on drunk drivers. This year’s “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” campaign began on August 15th and will run through the end of Labor Day weekend on September 1st.
How bad is the problem? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2012 Labor Day weekend (6 p.m. Friday to 5:59 a.m. Tuesday), 147 people died in drunk driving crashes. On an average day, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash every 51 minutes but, during Labor Day weekend, that figure jumps to one every 34 minutes. Young drivers between the ages of 18-34 make up the largest segment of drunk drivers.
If you plan to include alcohol as part of your Labor Day weekend festivities, make sure you have a safe way to get home. Use a designated driver or some alternate means of transportation. Better yet, enjoy the final holiday of the summer without alcohol. Don’t become a statistic or ruin the lives of your family or some other innocent family by drinking and driving.
Drug Related Crashes Involving Prescription Drugs On The Rise
June 27, 2014
In a study released by Public Health Reports last week, drivers who test positive for drugs are more likely than in the past to use prescription drugs and multiple drugs at the same time. Compared to figures from earlier studies, the number of multiple drug users responsible for fatal crashes has increased from 1 in 8 to 1 in 5. Read more: More Drivers ‘Under the Influence’ Testing Positive for Multiple Drugs
Sleeping It Off Isn’t Enough!
June 19, 2014
Our friends in Great Britain have launched a campaign to educate drivers that, after a night of drinking and “sleeping it off,” they may still be under the influence. Sleeping it off isn’t enough. I takes time for the body to process alcohol and many don’t realize that they may still be legally drunk when they leave for work the next morning. To learn more about their campaign and to see a Morning After Calculator, visit: Morning After- When Will You Be Safe To Drive?