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Feds Lowering Blood Alcohol Content Level?

Here is an interesting story we recently came across for a push to lower the legal blood alcohol content from .08 to .05. It seems they seem to think that by doing this they will be able to reduce the number of fatalities from drunk driving. Really? We seem to think that it will only punish responsible adults for enjoying a drink with their meal and not do anything for lowering fatalities. In fact we think that the only thing this will do is punish responsible people and lead to more arrests, more people having to spend more for legal fees and of course the need for more bail bonding services, and not make a difference at all of fatalities involving alcohol.

A recent post by  Keith Laing from TheHill.com points out that over the past 15 years the number of fatalities where alcohol is a factor has remained the same –

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The American Beverage Institute (ABI) is criticizing the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) call for lowering the legal alcohol limit for drivers.

The NTSB included a proposal of lowering the legal alcohol limit for U.S. drivers from .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to .05 percent in its annual “Most Wanted” list that was released on Wednesday.

The beverage institute, which represents restaurants that serve alcohol, said Thursday the proposal to lower the alcohol limit is “ridiculous” and will not stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.”

“Instead of targeting the heavily intoxicated drivers who cause most fatal drunk driving crashes, the NTSB wants to penalize responsible adults who enjoy one or two drinks with dinner,” ABI Managing Director Sarah Longwell said in a statement that was provided to The Hill.

“More than a decade ago, we lowered the legal limit from 0.1 percent to 0.08 after groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving promised a huge drop in fatalities,” she continued. “Yet the proportion of traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers has remained the same for the past 15 years. Why would moving to .05 suddenly stop truly drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel? The fact is, it won’t.”

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Along with lowering the BAC, there is also a push to outlaw all cell phone use while driving! Really? It should be that all states should mandate hands free devices while driving so both hands can be on the wheel and of course no texting while driving. Elizabeth Harrington from the FreeBeacon.com reports this –

The National Transportation Safety Board wants to decrease the legal driving limit to one drink, lowering the legal limit on blood-alcohol content to 0.05 “or even lower.”

The agency released its “most wanted list” on Wednesday, a laundry list of policies it would like implemented nationally. The list includes recommendations to reduce the current 0.08 blood alcohol content limit and outlaw all cell phone use while driving, even hands-free technology.

“When it comes to alcohol use, we know that impairment begins before a person’s BAC reaches 0.08 percent, the current legal limit in the United States,” the agency said. “In fact, by the time it reaches that level, the risk of a fatal crash has more than doubled. That is why states should lower BAC levels to 0.05— or even lower.”

The agency issued the recommendation while admitting that “the amount consumed and crash risk is not well understood.”

“We need more and better data to understand the scope of the problem and the effectiveness of countermeasures,” they said.

“The NTSB has advocated that people should not drive impaired, whether that’s from alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications or illicit drugs,” a representative from the board said. “We’ve pushed for states to reduce the threshold for DWI/DUI to 0.05 BAC or lower because research clearly shows that most people are impaired by the time they reach 0.05.”

A 0.05 BAC level would reduce the number of drinks an average-weight man of 180 pounds could have to two, according to Blood Alcohol Calculator.

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Some ideas are good, while others seem that they will only continue to clog up an already busy and overburdened legal system throughout the United States. Clearly as stated in the last article, more data and surveys need to be conducted to insure that any mandated laws will end up with less fatalities and accidents and not only lead to more people in the legal system.