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January 24, 1986

Establish the Level of Blood Alcohol Concentration at 0.05% by 'Per Se' Statute

Author Affiliations

Eau Claire, Wis

JAMA. 1986;255(4):463. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370040033007

To the Editor.—  An earlier MEDICAL NEWS article1 gave an excellent presentation of problems and confusion surrounding blood and/or breath alcohol concentration (BAC). The article serves as a springboard for physicians to reconsider our role in the treatment of the alcohol-driving problem. Actually, BAC is an accurate measurement and is the cornerstone of prosecution efforts following the adoption of implied consent laws. Physicians, many of whom do not fully understand BAC concepts, may experience confusion in evaluating countermeasures to the alcohol-driving problem. They may be content to console families, patch up the victims, and rehabilitate both victims and offenders. However, our heritage is to be involved in prevention as well as treatment.Fifteen million injuries and 600,000 deaths in this nation during the past 25 years due to the alcohol-impaired driver certainly constitute a major public health problem. Isn't it strange that public health principles have not been used in