Should the DUI blood alcohol level for drivers be lowered?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an investigative agency that advocates on behalf of safety issues for Americans. They make recommendations and have no authority to change state or federal laws.
In May, 2013, the NTSB voted to recommend to states that they lower the blood-alcohol content that constitutes drunken driving. Nearly 10,000 people die each year from alcohol-related traffic accidents and 170,00 are injured. The NTSB recommends moving the current .08 to .05. Do you think that is too strict or that the U.S. would then have the strictest laws in the world? That wouldn’t be the case. Most countries in Europe and South America, as well as Russia and Australia have set levels at .05.
The NTSB estimates saving 1,000 lives a year by lowering the standard. However, it may take awhile for this to affect you. It took 21 years for the rate to be dropped from .10 to .08. Do you think this is a good idea? Is it needed considering the annual loss of life across the country? Do you know how much you have to drink before hitting the .08 level? Is that important to you and your friends?
In the meantime, if you’re over 21, drink responsibly and drive safe. The life you save may be your own or that of a loved one.
Update: In March, 2017, Utah became the first state to lower the level to 05. The law goes into effect on December 31, 2018.