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Any Alcohol Consumed May Cause a Severe Georgia Drunk Driving Accident

April 23, 2012

The societal toll inflicted by those who commit drunk driving is staggering, claiming the lives of almost 11,000 people per year and accounting for almost a third of all vehicle-related fatalities according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Someone in the U.S. is killed by a drunk driver approximately every 48 minutes, while a person is injured in a drunk driving accident every minute according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This includes drivers and passengers in cars, trucks, SUVs, buses and riders of motorcycles. The economic cost associated with DUI accidents has been estimated to be as much as $1.2 billion per year. The Georgia drunk driving accident lawyers of Montlick and Associates have witnessed the enormous impact a Georgia drunk driving accident can have on a victim’s life and that of their family.

Although these statistics may be alarming, they mask an issue that may increase the cause for concern. Georgia DUI law, like the law in other states, makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds .08 percent. However, a new study suggests that alcohol may play a substantial role in far more Georgia car accidents than just those involving drivers that are over the legal limit of .08 percent BAC. Our Georgia drunk driving lawyers have frequently seen clients who are injured or lose a loved one in an alcohol-related accident where the driver was not over the legal limit.

The study conducted by researchers at U.C. San Diego and published in the journal Addiction found that many Georgia drunk driving accidents that result in incapacitating injuries or fatalities are caused by drivers with a blood alcohol level far below the legal limit for DUI. The study was massive in its scope involving an analysis of official data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) over a recent 15-year period. FARS was used because it is comprehensive in scope covering all drivers daily during all times of the day.

The results of the study show that even trace amounts of alcohol can substantially impact the severity of a Georgia car accident. Auto accidents studied were almost 37 percent more severe when a driver had even a negligible amount of alcohol in their system at the time of the crash. Based on data from the accidents analyzed in the study, the researchers identified three specific factors that seemed to account for the difference in auto accident severity. Drivers who have consumed ANY amount of alcohol are more likely to speed, drive the vehicle that caused the impact and fail to properly use a seat belt.

The researchers also noted that there appears to be what they refer to as a “strong dose response”. This means that as the amount of alcohol increases, the probability of these factors being present increases, as does the probable severity of any car crash. The study authors also found that these results held true even when they controlled for other variables like driver fatigue or driving distractions.

The study suggests that .08 percent is not a magic number that determines when alcohol in a driver’s system begins to impair driving ability. The .08 percent BAC level applied in the U.S. may be more related to cultural factors than the physiological impact of alcohol on driving ability as other countries have much lower BAC levels like .05 percent BAC in Germany, .02 percent BAC in Sweden and .02 percent BAC in Japan. This research may provide support for reducing the BAC level for Georgia DUI to reduce the number of serious Georgia drunk driving accidents that result in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

The Georgia drunk driving accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those throughout Georgia involved in Georgia DUI injury accidents for over 38 years. Our compassionate team of committed Georgia DUI injury accident lawyers have seen the way Georgia drunk driving accidents can shatter lives. We are committed to helping those injured by drunk drivers in Georgia recover the compensation they need to rebuild their lives and move past these tragic and avoidable Georgia auto accidents.

Our Georgia drunk driving accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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