Even Very Low BAC Levels Associated With Causing Car Crashes

January 17, 2014

  • January 21, 2014 at 7:26 am
    Adam says:
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    “Phillips and his co-authors find that drivers with BAC 0.01 percent…are 46 percent more likely to be officially and solely blamed by accident investigators than are the sober drivers they collide with.”

    In other words, the police are more likely to blame an accident on the driver who has some alcohol in their blood stream (based on a breathalizer exam) than someone who doesn’t. The study conflates causation with blame. To prove causation, there would need to be a far more intense investigation of other factors (including the sober driver), besides BAC, to rule them out (i.e. sleep deprivation, 20/20 vision, under the influence of drugs, texting/cell phone, etc.). Instead, the authors of the study appear to leap to the conclusion that it MUST be the BAC. Based on the methodology of the study, that conclusion may be false.

    How much do you want to bet that we see the legal limit drop to .05 in the next 3 years based on these “studies” and the desire to “feel safe” at any cost? I’m willing to bet that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded UCSD’s study with a grant and, miraculously, the conclusions reached are consistent with the NHTSA’s “campaign”.

  • January 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm
    Adjuster says:
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    No doubt. I’ve investigated 100s of accidents where the police officers “blame” was completely and utterly useless and had no relation to actual negligence. So now we’re using snap judgements by police officers trying to complete a time-limited report to support sweeping policy statements.

    I totally agree the NHTSA designed and paid for this report to support their already determined conclusions. All this will do is turn more non-intoxicated citizens into “criminals”. I’d really like to know if a field sobriety test was completed on anyone in this “study”. The answer would be no, which in my mind invalidates the “results”. An officer’s snap judgement is not sufficient to prove negligence in criminal or civil court.

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