Heng, Kenneth; Hargarten, Stephen; Layde, Peter; Craven, Andy; Shankuan Zhua
July 2006
Alcohol & Alcoholism;Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p451
Academic Journal
Aims: To review the evidence on moderate alcohol intake and motor vehicle crash (MVC) risk, and discuss the possible public health tension in balancing risk reduction and increment with respect to moderate alcohol intake. Method: A Medline review was conducted on moderate alcohol intake, MVC, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks. Result: Moderate alcohol intake (24 g ethanol, two US standard drinks, or less a day) is associated with 20% reduction in risk of CVD. Public awareness of this may contribute to why rates of driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) <0.08 g/dl in the United States are static. Studies show 3- to 17-fold increased risk of a fatal MVC with BAC < 0.08 g/dl compared to sober drivers. The United States has 0.08 g/dl BAC laws, higher than that reached by a driver drinking two drinks per day or less. Conclusion: The public should be educated that although moderate alcohol drinking may not violate BAC laws, it still carries significant risk of MVC. Current BAC laws in some countries needs re-evaluation.


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