U.S. Urges a Lower Blood-Alcohol Limit for Drunken Driving

Thousands of people are killed or injured each year by drunk drivers. The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the states reduce the allowable blood-alcohol concentration to 0.05% from 0.08%.

The current limit was established nearly 10 years ago. The standard has decreased the number of deaths by about 10,000 per year. According to Deborah A.P. Hersman, the chairwoman on the board, foreign countries with stricter standards have had substantially more success. The board voted for a variety of recommendations. Some of which require anyone convicted of drunken driving to install a breathalyzer interlock in their car, which would prevent the car from starting without an alcohol test.

Sarah Longwell, managing director at the American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association, called the idea “ludicrous”. She argues that if moved from 0.08% to 0.05% we would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior. She also argues that this will also do nothing to stop hard-core drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver, contact us immediately.

People with a BAC of 0.05% are 38% more likely to be involved in a crash than those who have not been drinking. People with a BAC of 0.08% are 169% more likely. About 30% of all vehicle fatalities are tied to drunken driving, down from 50% when President Reagan raised the issue 30 years ago. The number of deaths is down to about 10,000 a year from about 21,000 over the same time period.

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/us/legal-limit-drunken-driving-safety-board.html?hp&_r=0