Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made the news by recommending that each of the fifty states revise its definition of drunk driving. Specifically, the NTSB is encouraging states to consider laws that would make driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05% a crime. While most people agree that drunk driving is a dangerous crime that needs to be prevented, the NTSB proposal was not universally endorsed.
5 Things You Should Know about the Recommendation
Before you can decide whether you support the NTSB drunk driving recommendation, it is important to know that:
- Many other countries use the 0.05% BAC standard. Many European and South American countries, along with Russia and Australia, define drunk driving as a driver with a BAC of 0.05% or greater.
- There is evidence that drivers with a BAC of 0.05% are impaired. Drivers with a BAC of 0.05% may already have visual and other impairments. By 0.07% BAC cognitive abilities may be affected. Yet, a 0.05% BAC or a 0.07% BAC is not currently considered drunk driving.
- The NTSB believes the change could save approximately 1,000 lives each year.
- Some groups such as AAA, MADD, and the NHTSA have stopped short of endorsing the NTSB proposal. While none of these groups have come out in opposition of the proposal, there is concern that the recommendation focuses on the wrong thing and that resources will be better spent preventing drunk driving accidents in other ways.
- The proposal is not yet law. Drunk driving is defined by each individual state (though there could be federal incentives, such as highway money, attached to a state’s definition of drunk driving.)
It is important to consider all things when deciding whether you support the NTSB drunk driving recommendation.
Have You Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?
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