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Alcohol 2

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Risks
Driving under the influence is one of the largest risk factors that contribute to traffic collisions. For people in Europe between the age of 15 and 29, driving under the influence is one of the main causes of mortality. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol-related crashes cause approximately $37 billion in damages annually. DUI and alcohol-related crashes produce an estimated $45 billion in damages every year. Between attorney fees, fines, court fees, ignition interlock devices, and DMV fees a DUI charge could cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

Studies show that a high BAC increases the risk of collisions whereas it is not clear if a BAC of 0.01–0.05% slightly increases or decreases the risk.

Traffic collisions are predominantly caused by driving under the influence for people in Europe between the age of 15 and 29, it is one of the main causes of mortality. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol-related collisions cause approximately $37 billion in damages annually. Every 51 minutes someone dies from an alcohol-related collision. When it comes to risk-taking there is a larger male to female ratio as personality traits, antisociality and risk-taking are taken into consideration as they all are involved in DUI's. Over 7.7 million underage people ages 12–20 claim to drink alcohol, and on average, for every 100,000 underage Americans, 1.2 died in drunk-driving traffic accidents.

Grand Rapids Dip
Some studies suggest that a BAC of 0.01–0.04% would have a lower risk of collisions compared to a BAC of 0%, referred to as the Grand Rapids Effect or Grand Rapids Dip, based on a seminal research study by Borkenstein, et al. (Robert Frank Borkenstein is well known for inventing the Drunkometer in 1938, and the Breathalyzer in 1954.) One study suggests that a BAC of 0.04–0.05% would slightly increase the risk.

Some literature has attributed the Grand Rapids Effect to erroneous data or asserted (without support) that it was possibly due to drivers exerting extra caution at low BAC levels or to "experience" in drinking. Other explanations are that this effect is at least in part the blocking effect of ethanol excitotoxicity and the effect of alcohol in essential tremor and other movement disorders, but this remains speculative.

Both the influential study by Borkenstein, et al. and the empirical German data on the 1990s demonstrated that the risk of collisions is lower or the same for drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or less than for drivers with a BAC of 0%. For a BAC of 0.15% the risk is 25-fold. The 0.05% BAC limit in Germany (since 1998, 0.08% since 1973) and the limits in many other countries were set based on the study by Borkenstein, et al. Würzburg University researchers showed that all extra collisions caused by alcohol were due to at least 0.06% BAC, 96% of them due to BAC above 0.08%, and 79% due to BAC above 0.12%. In their study based on the 1990s German data, the effect of alcohol was higher for almost all BAC levels than in Borkenstein, et al.

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