Selected Research Topics
The Virtual Bar
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) has an Internet-based, interactive application aimed at illustrating the relationship between the number and type of alcoholic drinks and the resulting blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The user enters his/her age, gender, height, weight, and answers some questions relative to alcohol consumption prior to entering a virtual bar, where he/she can select various types of drinks and drinking times. The application then calculates the BAC curve on the basis of the input data and of the relevant pharmacokinetic model.
Now updated to estimate the effects of food.
Seated Sobriety Tests
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard sponsored a series of studies with the objective to develop and validate sobriety tests that can be administered in the seated position to assist water patrol officers in detecting impairment caused by blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 and above. The battery of tests has since been adopted in the NASBLA curriculum and is used nationwide by selected law enforcement officers.
The .05 Limit for Driving
On May 14, 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) proposed that states lower the blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) illegal limit from .08 g/dL to .05 g/dL. In March of 2017, this recommendation was signed into law in the State of Utah.
Although there is some evidence that the .05 limit would save lives, by one estimate, 1,790 per year (Fell and Scherer 2017) several issues must be resolved before it can be implemented nationwide. At a minimum, the following research questions should be examined: Can the sobriety tests be validated for use in detecting BACs of .05 g/dL and above? What is the usefulness of the current sobriety tests for a BAC limit of .05 g/dL? Can the current sobriety tests be adapted/changed to meet the requirements of the lower BAC limit? Are the observable effects of alcohol on driving qualitatively different than the observable effects of distraction/fatigue? What is the most effective way to educate the public on the relationships between the number of drinks and BAC, BAC and impairment, and impairment and risk of injury and death?
See the publication here.