Move to No BAC:  Zero Tolerance For DUI

Alcohol Affects Driving Skill

Reviewing the Evidence

A 0.08 percent blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) defines drunken driving in 15 states and several countries. Evidence, however, points to risky driving at lower BACs:

Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) Facts
0.00-0.01 percent *0.00%, the maximum BAC in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Croatia Republic, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, Hungary, Kyrgyzst, Nepal, Panama, Romania, and the Slovak Republic. "0 drinks per hour...only safe driving limit" (Washington Commercial Driver Guide PDF).
*0.01% is the maximum BAC in Albania and Algeria.
0.02-0.03 percent
*0.02% is the maximum BAC in Estonia, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. Impairs ability to see & distinguish moving objects. Shown to affect driving ability. People 20 and younger are prohibited in all states from driving at 0.02 or greater BAC.
*0.03% is the maximum BAC in India, Japan, Moldova, Georgia, Russia, and Turkmenistan.
0.04 percent
*0.04% is the maximum BAC in Lithuania.
*0.049 is the maximum BAC in Costa Rica and Latvia.
0.05 percent
*0.05% is the maximum BAC in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Macedonia, Mauritius, The Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea (0.52), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, and Venezuela. “Probability of a crash rises significantly” [IIHS]. Impairs ability to respond quickly (as in braking or swerving to avoid hitting something). JAMA recommends all states adopt this BAC as evidence of impaired driving [Journal of American Medical Association 1986, 255.527].
0.055 percent
*Inability to see 30% of dangers on either side of the vehicle
0.06-0.07 percent
*0.06% is the maximum BAC in Brazil.
*0.07% is the maximum BAC in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Honduras
0.08 percent
*0.08% is the maximum BAC in a number of U.S. states and cities, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Ireland, Luxembourg, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Singapore, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe. Probability of a crash rises “even more rapidly” [IIHS:  “Fatality Facts 2002”]. Impairs ability to detect low-contrast, low-illumination objects. U.S. Department of Transportation Section 410 Program criteria for states to receive federal highway safety funds

Peripheral:  10% loss at 0.02% BAC • 30% loss at .055% BAC • additional 50% loss at 45 mph speed.
Focusing:  Semi-blindness for over 7 seconds after oncoming vehicle's headlight glare hits eyes; eyes see double; mind cannot determine which image is correct nor its distance from driver.
Search & Recognition:  Impaired sorting & processing of what is seen while driving.
Tracking:  Impaired movements of hands on steering wheel to keep vehicles in lane of traffic or to negotiate turns.
Night Details:  Inability to see less than 50% of details.

Blood alcohol concentration limits for drivers in specific countries were obtained from

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