The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is recommending a new, lower limit for what's considered driving drunk. The board, which has no regulatory authority, wants states to set the blood-alcohol limit at 0.05 percent for driving. All 50 states now have limits of 0.08 percent.
After reviewing decades' worth of studies, the board concluded that people still have impaired attention, perception, reaction time and other functions important to driving at the lower blood-alcohol limit. The board also decided that the U.S. hasn't done enough yet to reduce drunk driving fatalities. About 173,000 people are injured every year in drunk-driver crashes and 10,000 people die, according a report the board published. About 30 percent of traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2011 were alcohol-related.
There's no magic number at which drinkers become dangerous drivers, of course. There's a smooth relationship between blood alcohol levels and risk of crashing that starts with even a 0.01 percent blood alcohol level. (Check out the graph on page 21 in the report.) The new 0.05 percent limit the board chose is associated with a 38 percent increased chance of a crash. A 0.08 percent blood alcohol level is associated with a 169 percent increased crash risk.
The board looked at studies of several other anti-drunk-driving measures, too. Based on its reviews, it wants more police-run sobriety checkpoints, more breathalyzer car locks for people who have been convicted of drunk driving, and more specialized drunk driving courts to deal with—and rehabilitate—repeat offenders, who are much more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than other drunk drivers.
The American Beverage Institute, a restaurant industry group, opposes the new recommended blood-alcohol limit. NBC News quoted the institute's managing director, Sarah Longwell, as calling it "ludicrous."
"Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior," she said. "Further restricting the moderate consumption of alcohol by responsible adults prior to driving does nothing to stop hardcore drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel."
why? so more people can get charged and more judges can just hand out deferred sentences all day long? lowering the limit does nothing if nobody is held accountable for their offenses. I read in the papers all the time about 4th, 5th or higher DUI offenders who get suspended sentences time and time again. I say up the charge for 3rd and subsequent offenses, rewrite the laws to make it mandatory 3-5 in prison.
It's getting ridiculous out there
"Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior"
That is the problem in a nutshell. People think they can have a few drinks and still safely drive. If you know you are going to drive, don't drink... even a little. The more you drink the less capable you are of good decision making. Don't start and you don't have to worry.
Simple risk analysis:
positive - tasty beverage
negative - increased possibly of dying, killing people, inflicting permanent physical injuries, going to jail, losing your license, destroying your car etc.
The problem is that drinking and driving is socially accepted.
Where's all the people defending pot? How can it be any more harmless than alcohol?
Here ya go Bags.... 1 way... you can't overdose on it. whew.. that was tough.
Why are you making a troll type comment? Perhaps you should be bocked. Why don't you offer something helfpul to the article?
It doesn't make sense to punish someone who hasn't hurt anyone.
A better thought would be to look at statistics. Only 1/3 of accidents are alcohol related. The other 2/3's are caused by people who can't drive any better than a drunk. Shouldn't we try to get those off the road first.
I'd make drunk and stoned and poor drivers attend a weekend of emergency room. Let them see their actions in the blood of their neighbors.
Among other things, if reducing or eliminating danger was the sole criterion, why not forbid all alcoholic beverage consumption? Why not set up a massive bus system to ferry people around but not allow anyone to own their own car? A fact of the matter is, just because a “solution” “answers” a “need” doesn't mean it isn't malignant and foul.
As for marijuana. Among other things, there is nothing you can't overdose on. Even water, in too much concentration, can so dilute electrolytes and water soluble vitamins that you can be seriously harmed. And marijuana differs from alcohol but in distinctly unpalatable ways. Among other things, marijuana enhances loathsome tendencies like slovenliness and lack of discrimination in most who use it. What's more, and this is rarely if ever addressed, a significant point is not so much just what marijuana does to someone but also the general ilk who will be attracted to it. At least the majority of those who use marijuana do so not to “loosen up”, but to be infused with a sense of pleasantness completely unrelated to the world around them. They seek to escape from what is around them, how they would be advised to respond to it, they are reckless and incapable of functioning in demanding environments. These are not the kind to appreciate having behind the wheel of a car.
You want to eliminate danger. Why are modern electronic cars allowed to drive in excess speed greatly above the state speed limit?
Take the maximum allowed speed limit of any state and do not allow a car do go 10mph above the posted limit. It was be the simplest thing to accomplish technically.
Excessive speed just causes excessive death, harm and damage to the public.
All cars could be limited in excessive speed and this would impose no limit in freedom that does not already exist, but would increase public safety!
Let’s step into a modern intelligent world with all the science we know. We clearly can demonstrate with science the effects of alcohol and its limitation on the human body. Laws with science have established real limits of alcohol consumption publically.
With all this science knowledge and public awareness for such a long time, I suggest to look at bars or any public alcohol drinking establishment with the government enforce laws are just places of 'legal entrapment' to punish the public. Seriously, the public gently has been setup to be entrap, should they go drinking publically and is apparently obvious to me.
Our government is NOT our friend or protector as you may believe.
Yep, more more criminals so they can make more money in fines.
"The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
They need to stop calling cops waiting outside of bars entrapment, because people knowingly go into a bar, then willingly drink to the point of drunk....but its ok my dead family members don't mind that people are allowed to break the law daily by driving drunk...they don't mind anything because they are gone while the drunk walked away unscratched.
When is public drunkenness a good approving legal idea? It is not and so I suggest those establishment that serve alcohol be closed.
The way things are now, the legal system setup entrapment and by allowing it to continue enable your family or future families to be harmed and killed.
If one must drink, drink at home, do not be a public menace.