Last call recommendation
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Last comment by JimmyMack 1 year, 2 months ago.

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A recommendation to drop the blood alcohol level to be considered drunk while driving from .08 to .05 percent was made by the National Transportation Safety Board this morning. Over the years, the federal government has coerced states to set the blood alcohol content at .08 percent or to lose funding for road projects. So all 50 states have adopted that BAC, which reflects the percentage of alcohol, by volume, in the blood. If you drive and are found to have a BAC of .08 or above, you're subject to arrest and prosecution. The NTSB's recommendation of .05 percent is part of its "Reaching Zero: actions to Eliminate Alcohol-Impaired Driving" campaign. And it is a worthy cause. NTSB estimates each year that nearly 10,000 people die in alcohol-related traffic accidents and 170,000 are injured. My question, though, is at what level does "drunk" diving cause accidents. I've assumed most accidents are caused people well over .08 percent. Does NTSB data show how many accidents are caused by drivers with .05 to .08 percent BAC? I haven't read the whole report so can't say whether it does. It does say that both Queensland and New South Wales saw drops in fatal crashes when those Australian states dropped BAC from .08 to .05. But part of the report does say that scientific evidence shows "any alcohol consumption associated with driving reduces safety." So why didn't they set the BAC recommendation at .01 percent?
To see more on the NTSB's compaign, click here.


Latest Activity: May 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM


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up2sumptin commented on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 13:59 PM

I think they are trying to slowly lower it as not to cause a huge backlash. Kind of like the frog in a pan of water analogy. As for the level in which you're impaired; I think that would do a great deal with metabolism. Some people get impaired quicker and at lower levels than others. I think they are trying to find the golden mean. Where the most people are affected at the lowest possible level.

HMJC commented on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 15:00 PM

I have learned over the years that ones opinion towards hot botton issues directely correlates to whether or not it has directly affected them personaly; kIida like gun violence. The problem with that is in most cases it is too late to prevent a tragic event. I do concur that the study does need to further provide average BAC for alchohol related accidents/deaths. .08 is for some two drinks while .05 would be one for and average drinker as oppossed to a portly fellow like myself...You are better off creating BAC key FOBS that will not start the car if the BAC is above a certain limit. I know there are some variations of that out there already, just not sure what. At the end of the day what is more dangerous? an impaired driver? a drunk driver? or is there a differeence?

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 15:31 PM

I do not know why they didn't just go ahead and set it at .01. There needs to be some sort of standard across the board. It probably should be booze or no booze on the computer readings, IMHO regarding the opperation of the vehicle.

It would represent a societal shift. A strictly soberd person operating a vehicle of a carload of drunks, gets a pass. While the one operating the vehicle who earlier, by group concensus, was the "most sober of them all, was doing the driving blew say an .01 should bear the consequences.

It's and all or none thing I think.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 19:36 PM

It's my understanding that you might have as many different levels of "impairment" as you have drivers - like up2 said. Somebody might be "impaired" with one drink, but it's okay for them to drive impaired because their blood alcohol level is below the limit. To answer the question - IMHO - to lower it so drastically to .01 would probably create an unwanted backlash - ala gun control. I remember when we had the oil crisis in the '70s and they reduced the speed limits. A supposed by-product was that there would probably be fewer traffic accidents and fatalities/injuries with lower limits. This was part of the campaign to ease the people into accepting the lower speed limits. I'm not sure about the stats, but as you know we've been back to the higher speed limits for some time now - because the people wanted it so. They probably think a more gradual/smaller reduction in the BAC limit will result in less opposition.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 17:19 PM

You gotta have a standard somewhere, don't you?? How many AK-47's with extender clips are REALLY necessary for the public to have?

How many people that have imbibed do you want driving your kids home or behind the wheel of 2-ton Weapon in the wrong hands??

The Gun Lobby and the Alcohol Lobby are very potent and dangerous in the hands of Conservatives policy makers.


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