New York City Accident Attorney David Resnick Says States Should Consider NTSB’s Recommendation of a Lower Drunk Driving Limit

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The founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a personal injury law firm, says a 0.05% blood-alcohol limit could save lives, citing statistics showing that 10,000 Americans are killed each year in drunk driving accidents with the current 0.08% limit.

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David Resnick

If you have been hurt in a car accident that was caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses and other losses regardless of the status of criminal charges against the driver.

David Resnick, a car accident lawyer in New York City, voiced support today for the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) new recommendation that state lawmakers lower the blood-alcohol content threshold for drunk driving charges by one third, dropping the legal limit to 0.05 percent.

“The NTSB doesn’t just say a 0.05 percent blood-alcohol concentration should be the standard for a drunk driving charge. The board backs up its recommendation with research about driver impairment at 0.05 BAC and the fact that 0.05 is the threshold for a drunk driving charge in most of the developed world,” said Resnick, founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C.

“The most important fact may be that, with the current 0.08 percent BAC standard for drunk driving, there are still 10,000 people killed in accidents involving alcohol every year,” Resnick continued. “Something must be done.”

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report on May 14 titled “Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Alcohol-Impaired Driving.” It recommends that states cut the allowable BAC for drivers from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.

Prior to 2000, the standard for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in most states was 0.10 percent. However, the 0.08 standard had been adopted by every state and the District of Columbia by the end of 2004 after the federal government threatened to withhold highway funds.

In addition to the proposed 0.05 percent limit, the NTSB report includes other new recommendations and the reiteration of nine previous proposals, including:

  •     Higher visibility in the enforcement of impaired driving laws.
  •     More in-vehicle BAC detection devices that prevent operation by an impaired driver.
  •     Using dedicated impaired driving courts and other programs to reduce impaired driving offender recidivism.
  •     Setting measurable goals for reductions in impaired driving and tracking progress toward those goals.

Although the NTSB can only recommend changes to federal and state agencies or legislatures, hundreds of NTSB recommendations have eventually become law — including the 0.08 BAC limit and raising the drinking age from 18 to 21, according to an article in the Detroit News.

The NTSB says that since the mid-1990s, the number of motor vehicle fatalities has fallen, but the proportion of deaths in accidents involving alcohol has remained constant, at about 30 percent.

Driver impairment begins with the first drink, according to the NTSB, and by 0.05 percent BAC most drivers experience a decline in cognitive and visual function, which significantly increases the risk of a serious crash.

“Changing legal per se BAC limits from 0.08 to 0.05 or lower would lead to meaningful reductions in crashes, injuries, and fatalities caused by alcohol-impaired driving,” the NTSB report says. More than 100 countries on six continents have limits of 0.05 percent or less, according to the NTSB.

“If there is some measurable impairment at 0.05 percent and the law is meant to make impaired driving illegal, then it seems that 0.08 is too high a standard,” Resnick said.

David Resnick & Associates investigates New York drunk driving accidents in the pursuit of personal injury or wrongful death claims on behalf of accident victims or their families. Resnick said drunk drivers can be held accountable for injuries in the accidents they cause regardless of their BAC or whether they have been convicted of DWI or a lesser drunk driving offense in the accident.

“If you have been hurt in a car accident that was caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses and other losses regardless of the status of criminal charges against the driver,” Resnick said.

“That’s why it’s important to talk to a car accident lawyer who is experienced in New York courts if you’ve been hurt in an accident,” he continued. “We can do our own crash investigations, and we look at every angle to protect the legal rights of the injured.”

About David Resnick & Associates, P.C.

David Resnick & Associates, P.C., provides professional and compassionate legal assistance to victims of injury and negligence. Founded in 1998, the firm is experienced at handling many types of injury and negligence cases in New York City, including motor vehicle accidents, hit-and-run accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian injuries, trips and falls, construction accidents, premises liability and other types of personal injury and wrongful death claims. David Resnick & Associates serves clients in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and all of New York City. The firm’s office is located 450 7th Avenue, Suite 409, New York, NY 10123. Mr. Resnick can be reached at (212) 279-2000 or through his website’s online contact form.

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