Stakeholder perceptions of lowering the blood alcohol concentration standard in the United States

PURPOSE: This study sought to better understand the past change in the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard from 0.10% to 0.08% in the United States, as well as explore stakeholder perceptions about potential health and other impacts of further lowering the standard below 0.08%. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with representatives of 20 organizations considered to have an interest and investment in the potential impacts of strategies to decrease alcohol-impaired related crashes and injuries. Interviews were conducted by a trained moderator, using a structured guide. RESULTS: Themes from the interviews are presented for several discussion topics explored for both the earlier change in the legal BAC limit from 0.10% to 0.08% and a potential lowering of the limit below 0.08%. Topics included arguments for and against change; organizational position on the change; stakeholders on both sides of the issue; strategies to support or oppose the change; health and economic impacts; and enforcement and adjudication challenges. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, results suggest that moving the BAC standard below the current level will require considerable effort and time. There was strong, but not complete, agreement that it will be difficult, and maybe infeasible in the short-term, for states to implement a BAC standard lower than 0.08%.


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  • Accession Number: 01670687
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 23 2018 3:47PM