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NTSB recommends lowering the BAC from 0.08% to 0.05%

The National Transportation Safety Board(NTSB) made a recommendation recently to lower the blood alcohol concentration(BAC) for drunken driving from 0.08% to 0.05% in an effort to reduce alcohol-impaired deaths. While it may take a while for this to become law it seems as though it may be inevitable based on the emotional state of communities around the country.

The last time a change to the BAC levels was made was in 1982 when the Federal Government passed legislation providing incentives for states to lower the standard from 0.10% to the current standard 0.08%. It took till 2004 until all 50 states had passed legislation updating the standard and ensuring they would not lose federal funds for highways. The concern then was that by lowering the limit police would end up catching more drivers who had simply had a drink with dinner as opposed to the highly intoxicated drivers causing accidents.

Today the concern is still similar except that at 0.05% even more dinner drinkers will be cited for DUI as it will take even less alcohol to reach the limit. Are we headed towards the eventual conclusion where any alcohol in a persons system will be grounds for a DUI?

Restaurant associations around the country are concerned that this will hurt local businesses where diners have a beer or glass of wine with dinner to enjoy their meal. For example a 175lb man will have a BAC of 0.05% after just two beers.

What do you think?

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