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NTSB recommends lowering BAC level to 0.05 from 0.08

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended to decrease the BAC level allowed for driving. Presently, in all 50 states, the legal driving limit of BAC is 0.08 percent. If police finds any person driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC level equal to 0.08% or above, then the offender is arrested and charged for it. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends lowering the BAC level from 0.08% to 0.05%.

According to the NTSB, almost 10,000 people die in accidents in which alcohol is involved and nearly 170,000 are injured every year. 30 years back, 20,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, so that’s a big improvement. Alcohol and drunk driving are a threat to public safety and to the lives of people on the roads. Different studies show that approximately four million people accept to driving while intoxicated.

The restaurant trade groups criticized the recommendation.

Managing director of the American Beverage Institute, Sarah Longwell said, “This recommendation is ludicrous. Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior. 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”.

United States, Canada and Iraq are some countries that have set the BAC level at .08% while most countries in Europe, including Russia, most of South America and Australia, have set BAC levels at .05%. When Australia decreased its BAC level from .08% to .05%, provinces reported a 5-18 %decrease in traffic accidents and deaths caused by drunk driving.

It is reported by NTSB that when any person has BAC level of 0.05%, he/she begins having difficulties with depth perception and other visual functions while with a BAC level of 0.07% or more, cognitive abilities become impaired. With a BAC level of 0.05%, the risk of having an accident increases by 39% and at 0.08% BAC, the risk of having an accident increases by more than 100%.

The NTSB believes that if all 50 states changed their standard BAC legal limit to .05, approximately 1,000 lives can be saved every year. It is also a struggle to help bring down the death rates on the road in America.

The last time when BAC level was decreased from .10% to .08%, it took 21 years for each state to implement.

The National Transportation Safety Board is an investigative agency and it is up to individual states whether to accept the NTSB’s recommendation. It has no legal authority to order any change in state or federal law.

News Source: www.NBCnews.com

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