According to the first nationwide analysis of “buzzed” drivers, there appears to be no safe level of alcohol in the bloodstream when it comes to driving. Based on information from a U.S. national database, researchers have concluded that driving with even a slight buzz puts drivers at a far greater risk of causing a traffic accident.

The authors of the study analyzed data from more than 570,000 collisions between 1994 and 2011. Drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01 percent, the lowest level recorded in the dataset, were 46 percent more likely to be solely blamed for the crash than a sober driver. For both men and women, the likelihood of blame for the accident rose as blood alcohol level increased.

For a grown man, it takes only half of one 12-ounce beer to generate a .01 percent BAC reading on a Breathalyzer test, which is well below the U.S. legal driving limit of .08 percent. However, experienced drinkers begin to become impaired at a .05 BAC, and inexperienced drinkers become very impaired at much lower levels. This study demonstrates that having just one drink, no matter how small, has a real impact on traffic collisions so, based strictly on the data, the only safe driver is one with zero blood alcohol content.

Protecting Yourself from Buzzed Drivers

Some federal agencies recommend reducing the national legal BAC limit below .08 percent, and research certainly supports that. However, until this is accomplished, there are other steps you can take to keep yourself, and those around you safe. Don’t drive buzzed, and don’t get in the car with a buzzed driver. Do whatever it takes to get a sober driver behind the wheel, which may include calling a cab. Before you head out, have the number of a reputable cab company in your wallet, so you have a reliable and sober way to get home.

Contact An Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash involving a buzzed driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney, such as those at Phillips Law Firm immediately. Victims of buzzed and drunk driving crashes often face expensive medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. You focus on yourself and your family, and let your attorney handle all the details.