According to a recent, large-scale study conducted at the University of San Diego, drivers with even .01 blood alcohol content (BAC) are almost twice as likely to be the at-fault driver when involved in an auto accident with a sober driver.
After analyzing more than 570,000 fatal collisions from data obtained from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System, researchers found that, depending on the weight and gender of the individual, those with even a BAC of .01—which is the equivalent of just 1 to 2 drinks per hour—accounted for at least 46 percent more “officially and solely blamed” accident investigation conclusions.
David Phillips, lead researcher in the study, stated, “We find no safe combination of drinking and driving — no point at which it is harmless to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car…. Our data support both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s campaign that ‘Buzzed driving is drunk driving’ and the recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board, to reduce the legal limit to BAC 0.05 percent … In fact, our data provide support for yet greater reductions in the legal BAC.”