Buzzed Driving Just As Dangerous, UC San Diego Study Says

Posted By The McClellan Law Firm || Jan 22, 2014

"Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving," according to one driver safety campaign run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For many motorists in San Diego and across the count ry, however, this connection isn't one they are likely to make, as many drivers get behind the wheel after drinking – assured that by being under the legal limit, they are still being safe. A new study from researchers at UC San Diego, however, is challenging that widespread belief with cold hard facts.

Drunk Driving Accidents

In California, the legal limit for driving under the influence (DUI) is .08% blood alcohol content (BAC). This is a level at which it has been determined that most people experience a reduction in reaction time and motor function that makes them a risk on the road. According to the UC San Diego study released last week, however, motorists who drive buzzed – even at very low BAC levels – still pose significant dangers on public roadways. The study also found that buzzed drivers frequently cause fatal traffic crashes.

After examining accident reports from 570,131 fatal crashes that took place between 1994 and 2011, researchers found the following:

  • Drinking and driving – at any level of intoxication – is dangerous and associated with more severe accidents.
  • Drivers with even just .01% BAC are 46% more likely to be held entirely at fault for an auto accident than sober drivers involved.

Injured by a Buzzed or Drunk Driver? Call (619) 215-1488 for a FREE Consultation.

The study highlights the fact that having just one drink can have a real impact on driving behaviors, and in turn, the safety of others on the road. With such alarming data in hand, researchers from the study have suggested a lowering of the legal BAC limit. More than 100 countries have already established a BAC limit of .05%, including most European countries.

Although the legal limit remains .08%, drivers who cause accidents while intoxicated – even below the legal limit – can still face criminal charges and can still be held responsible for causing the collision. At The McClellan Law Firm, our San Diego car accident lawyers fight for victims who have suffered damages in accidents caused by buzzed or drunk drivers.

For more information about your case and right to compensation, call (619) 215-1488 for a FREE consultation.

Blog Home


  • “We wouldn’t be here, in this moment of life without the kindness and professionalism of you all and how you went to bat for us! Eternally grateful!”

    - A.K.

  • “Having had the high privilege of presiding over a number of cases involving national counsel, I want you to know you’re one of the very best [...]. You and those with you were outstanding ambassadors for our profession and once again made me most proud to be a part of our legal community.”

  • “Immediately after our interview we knew without question that no matter how steep the mountain, win or lose, we had found the right person—Craig McClellan, Esq.—[…] We felt a profound sense of peacefulness whenever we came into the office, and we knew that you were protecting our interests at all time.”

    - G.P.

  • “I thank you for your kindness and generosity in giving selflessly without reserve. Additionally, please extend my thanks to your staff for their diligent work and encouragement throughout the trial.”

    - A.D.

  • “We could not be happier with the McCllelan Law Firm team! My husband and I were referred to Craig McCllelan by one of his peers. We had a very sensitive medical malpractice case that we were hesitant to even pursue. Craig and his team sat down and walked us through the entire process giving us their honest opinion and options. We felt very comfortable with the process and completely relieved by the end of the first meeting, so we decided to proceed. It is three years later and we couldn't be happier that we did. Craig, Connor, and his team made the entire experience so easy and smooth. They were always available no matter how small our question or concern. I swear they work 24/7! And most importantly, we knew that they truly cared about us and the outcome. They fought for our family and have given us the piece of mind that our son's healthcare will always be covered. It is truly the greatest gift and we will forever be in their debt!”

    - S.P.

View More

Our Awards & Accolades