Motorcycle Riders Might Want to Consider a Zero Tolerance Drinking and Riding Policy


June 10, 2015

Whether commuting to work or enjoying the back roads of Georgia on a weekend, motorcycles have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation for people from all socio-economic backgrounds.  Georgia ranks 15th out of all states in terms of the number of registered motorcycles in our state.  Because the summer provides warm weather, dry roads and vacation time, motorcyclists often travel more miles during the summer months.  Alcohol consumption also is often a significant presence during many summer activities, but riding and drinking should never mix.  While drunk driving is dangerous under any circumstances, our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates urge motorcycle riders to abstain from riding if they have consumed any amount of alcohol.

Because of the instability of motorcycles and lack of structural protection provided by a bike during a crash, motorcyclists are inherently more vulnerable to injury than occupants of passenger cars.  Despite these increased risks, many riders consumed alcohol prior to taking to the road.  The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) indicates that almost half of all riders (46 percent) have alcohol in their blood when they are involved in a fatal collision.  Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists involved in fatal collision are 2.5 times more likely to have consumed alcohol than passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes.

The MSF takes the position that there is no safe recommended limit for alcohol consumption prior to riding.  Ken Glaser, Director of Special Projects for the MSF, advises riders to only ride their bikes when they have a “zero” blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  The MSF estimates that a motorcyclist’s probability of being involved in a fatal motorcycle accident increases five times after consuming even a small amount of alcohol.  This risk rises to forty times that of a rider who has had nothing to drink with a BAC level of .05 percent according to the organization.

According to the MSF, studies also indicate the following adverse impact on riding ability after consuming amounts of alcohol that do not necessarily constitute DUI.  A BAC level between .01 and .04 percent can mean impaired judgment and less critical evaluation of an individual’s own actions.  When a rider’s BAC is between .05 and .07 percent, a rider’s reasoning skills are further diminished along with the rider’s ability to perform complex skills.  At this BAC level, individuals also are more prone to commit errors even when engaging in simple tasks.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You! 

We have attorneys and staff at our personal injury law firm who enjoy riding, but they also recognize that the inherent risk associated with motorcycles should not be magnified by drinking and riding.  If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident because of the negligence of another individual, you might be entitled to financial compensation. 

Our attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to 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 www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.  

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.