NTSB Recommends Lowering BAC to .05

Dui-check
In all 50 states, driving with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher, which reflects the percentage of alcohol, by volume, in the blood, means you're legally drunk — but the National Transportation Safety Board is fighting to lower that number.

What's the agency's magic number? It voted to lower the legal BAC level to .05. According to the investigative safety agency, nearly 10,000 people die in alcohol-related car accidents each year, and 170,000 more are injured. The NTSB estimates that approximately 1,000 lives could be saved each year by lowering the number. 

Not everyone is happy about the agency's recommendation. Restaurant trade groups were quick to criticize it. "Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior," Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, told NBC News.

Consider, however, laws already in place in many other countries. NBC News reports that Australia and most of Europe and South America have a .05 legal limit, and many countries reported a drop in fatalities compared to when .08 was the limit.

Regardless of what side you're on, it's important to note that the NTSB's ruling is just a recommendation; it has no legal authority to enforce it. It's up to each individual state to propose and adopt the law, and if anything happens, it'll take time. The move from a .10 limit to .08 took 21 years to implement countrywide.

Related
NTSB recommends lowering blood alcohol level that constitutes drunken driving (NBC News)
Want to Know Your Blood Alcohol Level? There's an App for That
Top 20 Cities with the Most Drunken Drivers

By Jennifer Geiger | May 15, 2013 | Comments (7)

Comments 

Bowrider

I'd like to know where the NTSB gets there data for the 1,000 lives saved estimate. I'm all about saving lives, but if you can't drive with a blood alcohol level between .05 and .08, you shouldn't be driving at all.

Aaron Tindall

"if you can't drive with a blood alcohol level between .05 and .08, you shouldn't be driving at all."

You are okay with people driving around while mildly impared? Seriously?

Self-driving cars cannot get here soon enough.

George

The limit should be restored to 0.10 from 0.08.
The old change was a political move designed to bring more people into the criminal injustice system.
This new proposed change is the height of absurdity, when illegal aliens can get off with DUI/DWI for a token fine, whereas the American pays through the nose, if not is incarcerated.

"The old change was a political move designed to bring more people into the criminal injustice system"... this is totally true, more money for the gov.

Speed

And yet some states have legalized pot. I guess it's ok to drive around high but not tipsy.

George

No, it is not okay to drive around while incapacitated.
Either by drugs, lack of sleep, or lack of ability.

TOM

In 1934 when NYC raised the speed limit from 20mph("horse n' buggy speed") to 25mph(!!!) the police commissioner said it was so he didn't have to arrest half the drivers.
Same is true of stop n' frisk, marijuana possession, the minimum drinking age and now 0'05 CAB. Soon we'll all be criminals(pick your vice) and under chronic police scrutiny.

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