Ohio Auto Accidents: Will States Lower Blood Alcohol Levels to 0.05% on Federal Agency Recommendation
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued several recommendations regarding drunk driving in the U.S. Among those measures is reducing the blood alcohol limits for drivers in every state to 0.05 percent.
According to the NTSB, current statistics show that more than 10,000 people die from alcohol related vehicle accidents in the United States each year, and another 173,000 are injured. Though the number of fatalities has fallen over the past twenty years, the percentage of the number of people who die in alcohol related accidents remains relatively unchanged. The NTSB has issued a list of recommendations to reduce Blood Alcohol Levels to help greatly lower the number of alcohol related accident deaths on the country’s highways. (http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/federal-officials-consider-lowering-legal-blood-al/nXqs6/)
One of the recommendations to reduce Blood Alcohol Levels is a country-wide reduction of the standard BAC of 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. Citing the success of the lower limit in other countries, the NTSB says a 0.05 percent standard could save the lives of up to 800 persons a year. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/14/us/ntsb-blood-alcohol)
What a Reduction in Blood Alcohol Levels Means For You
While how much alcohol it would take to reach the new BAC threshold would greatly depend on the individual, it is estimated that a woman weighing about 120-pounds would reach 0.05 percent if she drank two beers in one hour, while a 180-pound man would be over the limit if he drank three beers in one hour, New Hampshire Public Radio reports. Under the current standard, a 180-pound male could drink about four drinks in an hour before hitting the legal limit. (http://www.nhpr.org/post/feds-push-lower-alcohol-limits-drivers)
Other NTSB Recommendations
In its safety report, the NTSB recommends “stronger laws, improved enforcement strategies, innovating adjudication programs, and accelerated development of new in-vehicle alcohol detection technologies.” Specifically, the agency recommends –
- The immediate suspension of a driver’s license upon arrest
- Requiring Ignition interlock devices installed in vehicles driven by ALL convicted drunk drivers before a driving license can be reinstated
- The creation of courts dedicated to DUI/DWI offenses
- Conducting High Visibility Enforcement efforts, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols that include the use of passive alcohol sensors which can detect alcohol vapors in the air
- Require law enforcement officers to collect Place of Last Drink (POLD) information as part of their investigations
The NTSB issued the recommendation on the 25th anniversary of one of the worst drunk driving accidents in the U.S., when an impaired driver crashed his truck into a school bus in Carrollton, Kentucky, which injured 34 people and killed 25 more, most of whom were children.
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