Drunk drivers increase in number

Luis Rojas, Reporter

Drunk driving statistics keep escalating dramatically in California 

Recent studies show that fatalities in California involving drivers with high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) have jumped more than 6 percent in only one year.

California’s BAC limit is currently 0.08 percent and there has been an increment in alcohol-related fatalities in the last year. 

These studies show that drunk driving has escalated significantly and a third of car accidents are by driving impaired. 

All states across the country have regulated these limits and have agreed to keep it at 0.08  percent or under. On average it takes about three drinks to reach the 0.08 percent limit but it depends on the person’s weight and type of alcohol. 

One drink is considered to be one 12 ounce beer, one 5 ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5 ounce shot of liquor. 

For instance, it takes a woman three drinks an hour and four drinks a man to reach 0.08 percent BAC. 

A study from The Delphi Health Group all across America indicated that a shocking 83 percent of drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents had a BAC of 0.08 percent.

Nearly 60 percent of these drivers in the study had a BAC above 0.15  percent almost double the limit. 

This means that almost eight out of 10 people in the study drink and drive with at least four drinks and almost six out of 10 people consume seven drinks or more resulting in fatal accidents. 

Most of the states across the country have a BAC limit of 0.08 Percent,  but some states like Utah, West Virginia, and Arkansas have a lower BAC limit of 0.02 percent. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Utah, West Virginia and Arkansas see fewer deaths and injuries each year due to their lower BAC limit. 

In February of 2019 California lawmakers considered a bill that will reduce the amount of alcohol one can legally consume from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. 

The AB 1713 bill is an initiative to help prevent people from operating a motor vehicle under the influence and also reduce the fatalities in the Golden State. 

This bill will be the first proposal to adjust the BAC limit since 1998 when President Clinton had the initiative to regulate these limits nationwide. 

Locally, Bakersfield has a program by the Police department called “A Life Interrupted” that features a multi-media presentation and includes graphic collisions scene photos, 911 recordings and other evidence of drunk driving fatalities. 

There are at least one or two relatives of the victims killed in a collision to relate their personal experience and how these incidents have an impact on people’s lives. 

There is also vivid footage that displays the tragic events one can encounter when driving under the influence. 

This program has been featured in many high schools with the idea to make students and young people conscious about this serious problem that has increased dramatically over the past years.