An evaluation of the effects of lowering blood alcohol concentration limits for drivers on the rates of road traffic accidents and alcohol consumption: A natural experiment

The Lancet Jan 12, 2019

Haghpanahan H, et al. – Because drunk driving is an important risk factor for road traffic accidents (RTAs), the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers was reduced from 0.08 g/dL to 0.05 g/dL on Dec 5, 2014, in Scotland. In this study, researchers examined the impact of this change on RTAs and alcohol consumption. Upon analysis of data on RTAs and alcohol consumption in Scotland (the interventional group) as well as England and Wales (the control group), they identified no association of lowering the driving BAC limit with a reduction in RTAs. However, a small reduction in per-capita alcohol consumption from on-trade alcohol sales was noted in relation to this change. Ultimately, they found that reducing the BAC limit for drivers in isolation offers no improvement on RTA outcomes.

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