New book about the history of drunk driving in America

The United States has made huge strides against drunk driving. In the past 50 years, the number of drunk driving car accident deaths have dropped from 25 thousand deaths a year to 10 to 11 thousand deaths per year. Still, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 110 million instances of drunk driving in the U.S. every single year.

Compared to other countries, the U.S. is very permissive about the driving under the influence says the author of a new book, “One for the Road — Drunk Driving Since 1900“, Barron H. Lerner, a Columbia University Professor. Says Lerner, “You can still drink an awful lot in this country and get into your car and drive legally.”

In his book, Lerner says that while the U.S. allows a driver to have up to a 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC), countries like Sweden and Norway are considerably more strict and their legal limit is 0.02%.

Lerner conducted an experiment upon himself and found that it took about 5 shots of alcohol for him to reach a BAC of .08% and he found himself “pretty wasted” at that point. Still, he says, had he had one fewer drinks and a BAC of .075%, he still would have been to drunk to drive.

In his fascinating book, Lerner discusses the attitudes towards drinking and driving in this country. For example, he does not feel like there is the political will in the country to lower the blood alcohol limit for driving so he opens that new technologies like breathalyzers may be part of the solution to the problem.

The author feels that Americans should more heartily embrace the concept of a designated driver. He says Americans are still reticent to designate a non-drinking driver while in other countries designated drivers are enthusiastically embraced.

Lerner says that 50 years ago, a victim of a drunken driver was viewed at someone “in the wrong place at the wrong time” or someone “whose time it was to go.”

At The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue personal injury law firm, we represent victims of drunken driving. Many of them have serious injuries due to the negligent behavior of the person who decides to get behind the wheel and drive while intoxicated. With our help, victims can recover their damages which includes medical expenses, lost wages and for pain and suffering.

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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Bellevue to assist you.