Drunk Driving Limit May be Lowered
The NTSB has suggested lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to .05
At a meeting in Washington, the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all 50 states lower the threshold to reduce the nation's drunk driving death toll, which has plateaued at about 10,000 deaths a year.
The risk of a crash at a .05 reading is half what it is at .08, the report said. The safety board is scheduled to vote on the staff recommendations at the end of a meeting today, and is a crucial part of the board's attempt to eliminate drunk driving in the United States.
According to the Associated Press, new approaches are needed to combat drunken driving, which claims the lives of more than a third of the people killed each year on U.S highways — a level of carnage that that has remained stubbornly consistent for the past decade and a half, the board said.
Driving under the influence is responsible for nearly a third of all crash fatalities in the U.S, all 100% completely preventable. The NTSB suggests those deaths and the 170,000 yearly injuries add up to a cost of $66 billion every year.
What's the difference in .08 BAC and .05 BAC?
The difference between .08 and .05 is one to two mixed drinks, glasses of wine or 12-ounce beers over three hours, depending on gender and body size. In 1982, the NTSB successfully recommended raising states’ drinking ages to 21 and later supported a push to get states to lower the drunk-driving limit from .10 to .08.
Lowering the limits for what defines drunk driving may draw opposition from the alcoholic-beverage and restaurant industries, which have spoken out against an earlier NTSB recommendation that states require ignition interlocks for people convicted even once of drunk driving.
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