Print 84 comment(s) - last by RealLiberal.. on May 20 at 9:05 PM

Plan would drop legally drunk from B.A. of 0.08 to 0.05

Police departments nationwide stand to cash in if state governments embrace a controversial plan proposed by The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to drop the definition of "drunk driving" from 0.08 to 0.05.  The five-member board voted unanimously to approve the new policy suggestion.

I. NTSB Says Its Time to Get Strict

Drunk driving laws in the U.S. first landed in the early 1900s; New York became the first state to ban it in 1910, with a legal blood alcohol limit of 0.15 percent blood alcohol.  For many decades the limit remained at 0.15 in many states; then in the 1980s a push by advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) led to states embracing a stricter limit of 0.08, while adopting "zero-tolerance" limits of 0.01 or 0.02 percent blood alcohol for teenage drivers.

The NTSB justifies yet another serious increase, arguing that alcohol remains responsible for a third of road deaths.  NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman says there's "no silver bullet" for drunk driving, but she comments, "This is critical because impaired driving remains one of the biggest killers in the United States.  In the last 30 years, more than 440,000 people have perished in this country due to alcohol-impaired driving. What will be our legacy 30 years from now?  If we don't tackle alcohol-impaired driving now, when will we find the will to do so?"

While body chemistry varies, a 180-pound (81.6 kg) male will typically hit 0.08 after four "drinks" (12 oz. domestic beers) over an hour, according to the University of Oklahoma.  Three drinks would be required to hit 0.06; however keep in mind that many "tall" (or standard size craft) beers or mixed drinks count as two or more "drinks".

II. Technology Battle Over Drunk Driving is Heated

According to the NTSB as little as 0.01 BAC (blood alcohol content) can lead to lane departures.  At 0.02 they exhibit drowsiness, and at 0.04 their vigilance is substantially reduced.
Global blood alcohol limits
Global blood alcohol limits [Image Source: NTSB]

Many police departments nationwide are increasing drunk driving ticket via another mechanism -- passive sensors.  Passive sensors "sniff" the air for the presence of alcohol during traffic stops, so that officers don't have to rely on driving behavior, driver demeanor, or breath odor (which might be influenced by mints or gum) to determine if a driver might be drunk.

Drunk driver
Police are increasing using passive sensors to catch drunk drivers. [Image Source: CNN]

At the same time some cases have challenged the accuracy/validity of breathalyzers, demanding their code be shared with defendants.

The issue is likely to remain a hot button topic for years to come, particularly if the NTSB succeeds in pushing this stricter standard on the public.  The NTSB has also been busy trying to crack down on distracted driving.  Texting while driving has been shown in some studies to be more dangerous than drunk driving.

Source: NTSB

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Where is the data?
By Etsp on 5/15/2013 12:11:32 PM , Rating: 4
Where is the data that shows the number of deaths caused by drivers who are within that 0.05 to 0.08 range?

What is the actual number? How does it compare to drivers that are below 0.05?

The 440,000 number is for "impaired" drivers. At what BA level do they describe as impaired? Is it above 0.08? Is it above 0.05? Is it above 0.01? Is it above 0.05 but below 0.08?

I see nothing in the source article that defines that term, and nothing that can be used to say "People with a BA level above 0.05 and below 0.08 kill X number of people each year in accidents."

Personally, I'm against drunk driving (You'd be nuts not to be.) but I hate not having the data that's driving these decisions. Is there a graph or chart somewhere that can plot fatal accident occurrences over measured BA level?

RE: Where is the data?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 5/15/13, Rating: 0
RE: Where is the data?
By 91TTZ on 5/15/2013 1:18:03 PM , Rating: 4
You didn't address his question in any way. He's not denying that drunk drivers cause that many deaths, he's asking if people in the new proposed range are what's causing them.

It's already illegal to drive with blood alcohol over .08%, but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of fatalities are caused by people whose blood alcohol is far higher than that.

RE: Where is the data?
By M'n'M on 5/15/2013 2:49:50 PM , Rating: 4
It's already illegal to drive with blood alcohol over .08%, but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of fatalities are caused by people whose blood alcohol is far higher than that.

You would be correct and the NTSB admits this is so. See my earlier post below. I find this from the study interesting:
The laboratory and driving simulator research described above provides insights into alcohol ’s effects on general performance; however, with respect to safety, studies that consider the relationship between BAC and crash risk can provide useful information to guide policy. One of the earliest and best known studies of the effects of BAC on crash risk was the Borkenstein Grand Rapids study, a case - control study conducted in the early 1960s (Borkenstein and others 1964). The Borkenstein study showed an increased risk of crashes beginning at a BAC of 0.04. At a BAC of 0.08, risk was nearly doubled, and at 0.10, it had increased six fold. The Borkenstein study also found a “dip” in risk at very low BAC levels; 23 however, subsequent replications have indicated that the dip was a statistical anomaly (Hurst , Harte, and Frith 1994, 647 – 54) and that risk increases continuously beginning at a BAC of 0.01. More recent studies have shown that risk is significantly higher when a driver’s BAC is = 0.05, and that crash risk climbs rapidly at BAC levels that exceed 0.08. One study found that the risk of fatal crash involvement at BACs between 0.05 0 and 0.079 ranged from about 3 to 17 times greater, depending on the age of the driver and the type of fatal crash (single - vehicle versus all crashes) ( Zador , Krawchuk, and Voas 2000, 387 – 95 ). Another study found that at a BAC of 0.05, drivers are 1.38 times more likely to be in a crash than are sober drivers. At a BAC of 0.08, crash risk is 2.69 times higher ( Compton and others 2002; Blomberg and others 2005). These elevated risks grow even higher as BACs increase, with the risk of being in a crash rising to nearly 5 times higher by a BAC of 0.10. Figure 4 depicts relative crash risk by BAC level from this study.

So there's wildly varying estimates as to just how impaired people are vs BAC. They've picked 0.05 because it's the lowest point at which some consistent impairment can be found. And their stated goal is zero impairment.

RE: Where is the data?
By RufusM on 5/20/2013 4:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
And their stated goal is zero impairment.

Then they may as well make the DUI BAC .005 and ban all in-vehicle distractions as well: cell phones, car stereos, navigation devices or map reading, eating, passengers talking to drivers, etc. #nannyState

RE: Where is the data?
By BRB29 on 5/15/2013 12:39:44 PM , Rating: 3

That is impossible to do unless unless there's a chip in your blood stream measuring your BAC constantly.

At .08, you are impaired but it's not that significant. They do these crazy tests using a super curvy road course laid out by cones to test people. It's retarded because many drivers have a hard time passing that course sober. Just look at the mythbuster episode about drunk driving.

The whole defensive driving course and stupid shut down ignition systems they do is just a money grab. I don't see how a speech and video would cost over $500. I don't see why it cost thousands of dollars to install a breathalizer in my ignition.

RE: Where is the data?
By BRB29 on 5/15/2013 12:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
I see nothing in the source article that defines that term, and nothing that can be used to say "People with a BA level above 0.05 and below 0.08 kill X number of people each year in accidents."

meant to quote that

RE: Where is the data?
By Strunf on 5/16/2013 8:19:37 AM , Rating: 5
At .08, you are impaired but it's not that significant

The thing is that we aren't all the same, some at 0.08% will already be quite impaired other not so much, but the law has to be the same for everyone so it's better to pick the lower value than the highest one. Also in case of an emergency even a small dose of alcohol will affect your driving skills and since there are millions of cars on the road statistically it means a few dead and many injured.

The alcohol levels don't even bother me, as far as I'm concerned it could be 0.00% when I drink I don't drive when I drive I don't drink, what I don't like nor want is to pay for some new technologies that will forced into every car even if the owner respects the law, it's like forcing everyone to wear a straitjacket just cause some may turn out to be crazy.

RE: Where is the data?
By M'n'M on 5/15/2013 12:53:01 PM , Rating: 3
Some of the data and the studies cited in coming up with the recommendation are in the report:

Summarizing it's seems they expect an ~10% decline in the number of fatal alcohol related accidents. I'd have to spend more time reading the cited studies to assess whether this is more BS or not.

What I do know is every state around here can convict you of a lesser offense at 0.05%, and of DWI at that level, if the arresting officer can show additional evidence of impairment (which should be easy as in most cases it'll be why he stopped you in the 1'st place). So it seems to me that the new limit is more of a public awareness "stick" than anything else. Even the report (pg 24) states:
Although lowering the per se BAC threshold may seem counterintuitive when the majority of alcohol - impaired drivers in fatal crashes have BAC levels well over 0.08, research on the effectiveness of laws limiting BAC levels (Hingson, Heeren, and Winter 1996; Wagenaar and others 2007) has found that lowering the per se BAC limit changes the drink - driving behavior of drivers at all BAC levels. Consequently, reducing the per se BAC limit could reasonably be expected to have a broad deterrent effect, thereby reducing the risk of injuries and fatalities from crashes associated with impaired driving.

Hmmmm ... that also cries for more looking into.

I find it "intriguing" that this comes out at the same time another group is recommending that physicians should "screen" all adults (18+ yrs) for potential alcohol "misuse".

RE: Where is the data?
By Etsp on 5/15/2013 2:12:17 PM , Rating: 2
The psychological effect is something I hadn't considered, but it's not something that can be predicted effectively either, just "estimated". The only way to really know the impact of that aspect would be to implement the law...

Though, given what the BA rules are for most of the rest of the world (0.05 BA), they probably have some applicable data already.

To be clear, I'm not against this proposed change, but I'm not for it either. Not until I hear a sufficient argument for it, or against it, backed by data.

RE: Where is the data?
By M'n'M on 5/15/2013 3:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
The psychological effect is something I hadn't considered, but it's not something that can be predicted effectively either, just "estimated". The only way to really know the impact of that aspect would be to implement the law...

And of course if the change weren't to be of any real safety improvement after enactment, it would be nigh impossible to get the politicians to admit it, let alone repeal it. Just look at the NMSL/55. If it weren't for some large states raising a ruckus over Fed funds being withheld, we'd still have it. In the East, the mixed 55/65 is still in effect despite the fact that raising the speed limit did not lead to thousands and thousands of extra deaths as predicted by the Safety Nazi's of the time.

As for this change ... I'll have to look into it some more to decide on it but it has a whiff of the same stupid "no risk" mentality that seems pervasive these days.

RE: Where is the data?
By vol7ron on 5/19/2013 4:40:22 AM , Rating: 1
The argument against it is there is a political desire to control every aspect of your life, no matter where you live or what you do.

Sure there may be impairments when drinking, but the physiological effects are different, for different people. In fact, I know people that function better when slightly intoxicated then completely sober - humorous, but true.

The truth is Congress and state governments would save more lives and prevent more injuries by having better driving regulations for all license holders - better tests to ensure those that hold licenses meet a certain standard while driving. There are simply too many drivers on the road that are horrible enough sober and these "horrible drivers" probably make up a large percentage of drunk drivers that are involved in accidents. So, if you improve the quality of the average driver on the road, either by better training or tests restricting their access, the DUI statistic will naturally be reduced.

The real statistics aren't in how many dui-related accidents occur, but how many non-dui accidents occur. The point is to save lives. It's nothing more than sensationalism to determine that deaths are a result of the combination of alcohol and driving. The government could save more in less invasive and in a more freedom-abiding manner. So, new BAC limits are complete and utter horse shit.

RE: Where is the data?
By AMDftw on 5/15/2013 12:58:02 PM , Rating: 3
I think they should raise the tobacco and alcohol age. I even the driving age from 16 to 18. If not that, have a permit for 1-2 years instead of 6 months. IMHO

No, I'm not an old man trying on the younger generation. I'm a young adult.

RE: Where is the data?
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 1:08:17 PM , Rating: 3
Florida did raise the license age to 17 from 16. I was quite glad. But it really doesn't matter because kids still can't drive and the driving "test" is so easy anyone who can play GTA can pass it.

RE: Where is the data?
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 1:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Where is the data?
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 2:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it looks like they changed it but its still more limited. When I turned 16 you could get your full license. That chart shows that at 16 and 17 you have a restricted license which is probably that you can't drive after a certain time, much like the learners permit but you don't need an adult in the car anymore.

Now it's not until 18 that you have an unrestricted license.

RE: Where is the data?
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 2:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
And last I checked, it was at 17 you got your unrestricted license.

PS - Damn no edit button.

RE: Where is the data?
By BRB29 on 5/15/2013 1:14:22 PM , Rating: 4
Are you serious? raising it to what? 25?

Have you even bother to research the age policies of other countries and alcohol related traffic accident rates?
If you did, you would have a different opinion.

RE: Where is the data?
By tayb on 5/15/2013 2:00:28 PM , Rating: 5
A better solution would be decreasing the legal age to buy alcohol to 16 and increasing the legal age to drive to 18. It sounds counter-intuitive but many studies have shown decreasing the legal age to purchase alcohol reduces binge consumption and by consequence drunk driving. Further, embracing alcohol several years before driving allows children to become acquainted with alcohol and the effect on the body and mind before learning how to drive and getting behind the wheel. It would also be nice if we actually had driving courses that taught children how to drive.

Our current laws are completely backward and ineffective.

RE: Where is the data?
By Solandri on 5/15/2013 3:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say the problem is more one of publicity. According to the CDC, overdrinking causes 80,000 deaths per year.

That makes it twice as big a problem as vehicle accidents (even more if you subtract out alcohol-related vehicle accidents). That would make it the #1 preventable cause of death. I'd been wondering why overdoses were so high on the CDC's fatality rate charts. I had a hard time believing illegal and prescription substance abuse could cause so many deaths. But it all makes sense if that's how you classify deaths caused by getting drunk.

So that's really where the media should be focusing their attention if they truly wanted to serve the public, instead of attention-grabbing things like terrorism, plane crashes, and school shootings. You're actually more likely to be struck by lightning than to be involved with one of those media favorites. And their disproportionate coverage causes us to waste a lot of money combating something that really isn't that big a problem.

RE: Where is the data?
By ven1ger on 5/17/2013 6:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, that does sound counter-intuitive. I'd think that there could be other adverse consequences at starting drinking at such an early age, other than drunken driving, but I'll leave that to the experts.

Our state require that anyone under the age of 18 requires driver's education with a licensed driving instructor before being allowed to obtain a drivers license. Most of the under 18, usually take driving courses from the high school if it is offered as it generally tends to be a lot less expensive than those offered by private instructors, something like $300 or more.

RE: Where is the data?
By tng on 5/17/2013 4:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think they should raise the tobacco and alcohol age.
I find it ironic and sad that in most states that you have to be 18 to buy stop smoking aids. Do or can people under 18 abuse them? I don't know, but if you need the help to stop, you can't get it if you are under 18.

I even the driving age from 16 to 18.
I agree 100% with this. Sometimes I think that it should be 21.

RE: Where is the data?
By borismkv on 5/16/2013 2:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
Who needs data? Alcohol is a waste of money. Stop drinking and never worry about getting a DUI.

RE: Where is the data?
By degobah77 on 5/17/2013 8:00:47 AM , Rating: 2
Who needs life? Breathing is a waste of money. Stop breathing and never worry about living.

RE: Where is the data?
By talikarni on 5/16/2013 3:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
its all about control, not safety. They just use some cherry picked or ambiguous data to support their claims and pass these laws based on emotion rather than facts.

Fix the existing laws first
By PCMerlin on 5/15/2013 1:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for doing whatever can be done to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths. I've lost my cousin, a nephew, my best friend, and the cute little girl next door to drunk driving incidents. Most of the ones driving drunk in these cases had already been previously convicted of drunk driving, one of which had just been released from jail earlier that same day.

I really believe this is an issue that needs to be addressed, but we need to fix the laws that we currently have so that we don't have the number of repeat offenders that we currently do, not increase the number of people who will be driving around with previous convictions.

RE: Fix the existing laws first
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 1:14:43 PM , Rating: 4
No law will fix that. .01 or .05 or .08, people are still going to drink and drive. Period. Unless you mandate that every car has to have a breathalyzer attached to the ignition, the problem isn't going to stop.

You have plenty of people driving around with suspended licenses due to alcohol or other related charges. The cops simply can't do everything.

RE: Fix the existing laws first
By bsd228 on 5/15/2013 2:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
You have plenty of people driving around with suspended licenses due to alcohol or other related charges. The cops simply can't do everything.

There is a lot you can do about this. Starting with jail, or vehicle seizures and monetary penalties.

It's a common occurrence to read about a local fatality caused by someone driving with a suspended license, and double digit prior DUIs. Multiple occasions driving on their suspended license. Clearly the penalties were inadequate.

I don't see any problems with the .08 level and the penalties that ensure. But we clearly have a problem with handling those who refuse to adhere to their punishment and continue to offend.

RE: Fix the existing laws first
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 5:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
Even if you fine them or take their car, nothing stopping them from buying another and driving that one. Or borrowing another one.

RE: Fix the existing laws first
By Vertigo2000 on 5/15/2013 6:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
True, but buying a car will require money... which then reduces the amount of disposable money that person will have to purchase alcohol.

I say give everyone the benefit of the doubt. All prior transgressions will be wiped from the books. The state will trust that you know your limitations and are responsible enough to know your own limits... BUT once you've proven that you're not responsible enough to do so... say goodbye to your licence for at least 10 years. Your name and picture will be forwarded to the car dealerships in your state so that you cannot legally purchase a new vehicle. You can try again in 10 years. Thanks, have a nice day. STRIKE ONE
Oh, you've borrowed your buddy's car for the weekend and proved again that you're not responsible... guess what... your buddy has now lost his vehicle. He can still legally drive, but his car is seized. Maybe he should have considered that when he lent his car keys to a known dips**t. Make some new friends. If your buddy's a real friend, he'll reimburse you for the car he lost for you. STRIKE TWO

RE: Fix the existing laws first
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 6:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
Used cars, private dealers. Not going to make a bit of difference.

RE: Fix the existing laws first
By BRB29 on 5/17/2013 12:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
Some people are just selfish and bent on doing bad things. No amount of laws will stop them. The point of making harsh laws for DUI is prevent those that still have a conscience to think twice about taking that risk. The article clearly says their goal is about 10% reduction, not 100%.

I agree with harsher punishment but I also think it may be too harsh. Some people make dumb decisions once in a while. You shouldn't turn their life upside down for one mistake. I would say make the 2nd offense really harsh and the first only harsh enough for a wake up call.

After seeing my friends get DUI and how much it cost them over the years, you can be 100% certain I always have a plan when I go out. I would also never want a breathalyzer in my ignition. I would also hate my life if I lost my license. It's a lot of think about after the thousands you have to pay. Over the years, it will cost even more. At the minimum your insurance will probably increase 2-3x.

RE: Fix the existing laws first
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 5:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
And they will still do it even with that...

I weigh 200 lbs
By ShaolinSoccer on 5/15/2013 2:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
And after 4 beers, I may feel a "little" tipsy. Not anywhere near drunk enough that they claim a 180 lb guy will feel. And that's after slamming 4 beers back to back. If I drink them within a hour, I barely feel anything at all. I'm all for stopping drunk driving but changing it from 0.8 to 0.5 is probably just going to ruin people's lives that don't deserve to be ruined.

RE: I weigh 200 lbs
By ShaolinSoccer on 5/15/2013 2:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
oops, I meant 0.08 and 0.05. We need an edit button...

RE: I weigh 200 lbs
By edge929 on 5/16/2013 12:16:49 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing. If my 120lb wife drinks one margarita in an hour, she'd be over the limit at 0.05 and very close at 0.08. We rarely drink alcohol but when we do it's usually with a nice meal at a restaurant. Lowering BA to 0.05 would effectively kill that for many people.

RE: I weigh 200 lbs
By borismkv on 5/16/2013 4:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
Heaven forbid people have to get a damn taxi after going out drinking. Poor little snowflakes.

RE: I weigh 200 lbs
By MrBungle123 on 5/16/2013 5:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
I have no issue with trying to stop drunk driving but setting .05 as the legal limit is just idiotic.

People that are drinking either have sense enough to know when they've had too much or they don't. People at bars or parties don't think about weather or not they are at .08 they think about weather they can get home without wrecking their car or driving in a manner that makes their level of drunkenness so obvious that they will get pulled over.

All this law would do is make it so that coherent people pulled over for something stupid like a dead tail light or something end up with thousands of dollars in fines and lost jobs because of spending a couple days in jail.

RE: I weigh 200 lbs
By degobah77 on 5/17/2013 7:58:51 AM , Rating: 2
God forbid people be allowed to live the way they want to while you are allowed to live the way YOU want to.

By degobah77 on 5/15/2013 12:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
Way to put bars and restaurants out of business. .05 could be a single micro brew these days. What's the point of going out if you can't even drive home anymore?

How about we just allow drivers to take rigorous tests that prove they can drive safely at a certain BAC and then grant privileged licenses as such? I could house a case of beer and still drive better than 99% of the moron drivers out there.

Ah, but there's no breathalyzer for stupidity levels...

RE: Stupid
By Xplorer4x4 on 5/15/2013 12:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
Way to put bars and restaurants out of business. .05 could be a single micro brew these days. What's the point of going out if you can't even drive home anymore?

The thing is, will most people be impaired enough at .05 to drive in a manner that warrants them being pulled over? Probably not, but when you consider stupidity factor, they are more likely to be pulled over for something stupid then because they were drunk enough to be swerving.

How about we just allow drivers to take rigorous tests that prove they can drive safely at a certain BAC and then grant privileged licenses as such? I could house a case of beer and still drive better than 99% of the moron drivers out there.

I agree. I had a buddy back in the day who could be piss drunk but some how managed to drive no different then he was sober. I would like to see evidence of how many drunk driving crashes are caused due to high speeds. The majority of the time that I here a drunk driver caused a crash it is because of speed.

RE: Stupid
By degobah77 on 5/15/2013 12:55:29 PM , Rating: 1
Just add a NON restriction to the license - "Has effectively proven to safely operate this machinery/perform this activity with up to a BAC of .##".

There's no need to destroy people's lives because of a blanket law that assumes all people are stupid, reckless, drunk driving maniacs hunting for family filled minivans to broadside.

RE: Stupid
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 1:07:08 PM , Rating: 1
Yup. I think nearly anyone who drinks has at some point driven with their BAC over the legal limit of their state. Doesn't mean they should have or that they were too impaired to do so.

If I've had two or three drinks, I drive at or near the speed limit, keep adequate distance between me and the guy in front of me, and just generally be careful.

Only maybe once in my life did I look back on the situation and think "Yeah I probably shouldn't have driven home". But more so because of the potential consequences of being caught than that I was too impaired to do so. I've called people to have them drive me home when I've been too impaired and knew it. But then I also don't binge drink and never have. And these days I barely drink at all.

RE: Stupid
By Aloonatic on 5/20/2013 6:42:03 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I had a buddy back in the day who could be piss drunk but some how managed to drive no different then he was sober. I would like to see evidence of how many drunk driving crashes are caused due to high speeds. The majority of the time that I here a drunk driver caused a crash it is because of speed.
You are missing the point.

Most people could probably drive around OK when they were drunk and everything is OK on the other side of the windshield... The thing is, it's when something happens that is unexpected, like someone stepping out into the road, another car stopping unexpectedly (the random stuff really) then your reaction times when drunk are proven to be slower, and you're more likely to end up hurting yourself, your passenger(s) and third parties. Hell, if we use the logic that a buddy can do something OK when drunk, well, I could drive OK before I took my test and got a licence, so lets not bother with that either?!?!

The difference with speed and driving drunk is, you do not need to be drunk to drive, but you do need to be traveling at some kind of speed to be driving. Now where you set the limit for the speed that you can travel is a different debate, and anything over 1mph will be arguably increasingly unsafe as you increase speeds, but when it comes to driving with alcohol in your system, there little need to have any in your system (baring medication or a tiny residual amount from the night before maybe) and drive a potentially lethal piece of equipment.

RE: Stupid
By HrilL on 5/16/2013 1:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
Have to agree. While I don't condone drunk driving at all. Every person is different. I've known alcoholics that live with a base BAC of .2 all the time. They will wake up the next morning and be at .2 or even .3. BAC doesn't take into account a person tolerance for alcohol. If you drink a lot all of the time you can function better than some people after 5-8 drinks than someone who never drinks can after 2. Your system sounds fair and would take into account the alcoholics that can drive perfectly fine at double the legal limit if not better than 98% of the sober population. This is what it is. A pure and simple money grab while state and local governments are in massive amounts of debt. Don't think their is much if any statistical data the shows the decrease in deaths when they dropped the BAC from .1 to .08 If there is I'm sure it is not very significant.

Cell phones have been proven to kill more people now days than drunk driving ever has. Lets solve that problem.

Drink Driving Limits
By Isidore on 5/15/2013 1:10:47 PM , Rating: 3
This is another area of legislation where the US seems out of step with most other first world countries. The connection between drinking and road fatalities is so obvious from accident statistics that it doesn't need to be discussed. I don't know what happens in the US but certainly in the UK if you are involved in an accident to which the police attend, you will almost certainly be breathalized. In Australia the police do random testing, as they do in many other countries. The real problem with the 50 mg alcohol/ 100 millilitres of blood as opposed to 80 which it is in the UK, is that you are quite likely to still be over the limit the following morning on your way to work. The Scandinavian limit is 20, which is effectively a zero limit-a small adult will be put over this by one glass of wine. The drink drive limit combined with seatbelt laws have reduced road fatalities to the extent that there is now a shortage of donor organs for transplants. I am all in favour of personal freedom, combined with personal responsibility and liability. The problem is that drunks kill other people and not just themselves and that is just not fair.

RE: Drink Driving Limits
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 1:31:29 PM , Rating: 1
I think our laws are just fine. I do believe if you kill someone while driving drunk, you should be executed. Same as you should be executed for killing anyone intentionally any other way. But we have European ideas to thank for that not being the case.

If you are caught driving drunk, you generally lose your license for a given amount of time. That doesn't stop people from driving though.

RE: Drink Driving Limits
By Skywalker123 on 5/15/2013 3:25:00 PM , Rating: 2
do believe if you kill someone while driving drunk, you should be executed. Same as you should be executed for killing anyone intentionally any other way

Drunk drivers dont intentionally kill anyone, this has to be the stupidest statement you've ever made, and that's saying a lot.

RE: Drink Driving Limits
By ven1ger on 5/17/2013 6:01:47 AM , Rating: 2
I'd say the first time they kill someone they lose their license without ever having the ability to operate a motor vehicle because they gave up the right to be responsible. 2nd time we shoot them...I'd think that would be enough to show intention...

States Rights
By Ammohunt on 5/15/2013 12:42:30 PM , Rating: 3
Personally I see this as a states rights issue. States are the best judge when it comes to laws related to driving privilege. I feel this is more about the federal government testing the waters of complete federal control.

RE: States Rights
By ChuckDriver on 5/15/2013 1:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ultimately, it is a states' rights issue. The federal government encourages states to adopt legal BAC levels, seat belt laws, et cetera by denying states money for things like their roads if their laws do not comply.

RE: States Rights
By RealLiberal on 5/20/2013 9:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Damn Straight!

If redneck white trash want to drive 90mph at .2% BAC down the unpaved roads in their third world hellhole states while blaring Rush Limbaugh, I say more power to them!

That is a self correcting problem!

Instead we're getting poorly disguised "save the redneck" rhetoric. Why?

The decline of this country was clearly caused by Ralph Nader taking pity on the redneck, and forcing them to drive safer cars that mitigated their risk taking behavior. It was an utterly moronic strategic blunder. Now we get Republican majorities in Congress because more of them live long enough to vote! Great job Ralph!

Cash grab
By adrift02 on 5/15/2013 11:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'm as against drinking and driving as the next guy but this is just a cash grab plain and simple. I don't see any evidence proving that a .05 limit will make the roads safer (beyond their "claim"), I'd bet they're just looking at how many more people they would have nailed with that huge fine. And lets be real, a cop can arrest you regardless of your BAC if he feels you're impaired and many states already have "hidden" laws like it's illegal to have even one beer and drive within an hour.

RE: Cash grab
By othercents on 5/15/2013 12:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
The punishment for drunk driving is not stiff enough to discourage drunk driving. In Turkey they take your license if the police thinks you are impaired drunk and there isn't a test for limit levels.

RE: Cash grab
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 1:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
My brother who was issued a DUI and had the conviction overturned disagrees with you.

Even despite it not holding up due to mistakes by the cop(they let him off on technicalities but stipulated he still had to do certain things), he is still fighting it 3-4 years later. He is currently redoing the year where you have a breathalyzer hooked to your ignition because even though he had the paperwork to prove he'd already done it, they said we don't care.

Granted he should just feel lucky to not be in jail and have a license. But he would disagree that the punishment isn't harsh.

Turkey is also becoming a strict Muslim country under Shariah law where alcohol in general is frowned upon.

By Motoman on 5/15/2013 12:35:38 PM , Rating: 3
Candy Lightner, the woman who founded MADD after a drunk driver killed her daughter, famously left the group she created because they were increasingly becoming a "neo-prohibitionism" group.

She founded the group to address drunk driving. What it's become is a group trying to force society to stop drinking alcohol.

There isn't any scientific data that provides a rational basis for reducing the limit further. It's not about fixing DUI anymore - it's about making people stop drinking...because these people think it's simply immoral all together.

RE: Neo-prohibitionism
By 91TTZ on 5/15/2013 1:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

It's all about the....
By AEvangel on 5/15/2013 11:48:42 AM , Rating: 3
Money and is not even a concern.

Traffic Fatalities per 100,000
By croc on 5/15/2013 7:53:35 PM , Rating: 1
Australia, 5.7, USA 12.3...

RE: Traffic Fatalities per 100,000
By M'n'M on 5/15/2013 11:05:58 PM , Rating: 2
And ???

A more enlightening comparison would be the fatality rate per mile (or KM) driven. Those numbers are a less favorable 5.8 AUS vs 8.5 USA (per billion KM driven). But even then vehicle differences (% trucks/cars/motorcycles) and type of driving (urban/highway) and time-to-emergency care should be taken into account.

A better comparison (for this topic) is the % of fatalities attributed to drunk driving. AUS says their drunk ratio is 30% in 2011. That's comparable to the USA with 31% drunk ratio in 2010 - 2011.

So your point was ??? Whatever Australia is doing, it's only marginally (and then only perhaps) any better that what we're presently doing here in the US wrt drunk drivers.

My point is that commonsense says to reduce the drunk driving fatality rate, go after those that are the majority of the problem. People who are waaay above the present limit of 0.08% are also (usually) repeat offenders. The focus should be to keep these people from being drunk while behind the wheel.

Just More Big Brother
By mgilbert on 5/15/2013 12:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
If you are caught obviously drunk, they should shoot you, but that isn't what this is about. This will be just another tool tiny dicked, arrogant, asshole traffic cops will use to abuse the motoring public, in order to stroke their own huge egos. Right now, speed traps are their favorite tool, and those are not about safety - they are about revenue. And that is exactly how the new BAC limit will be used. And while these pricks run speed traps, 100 people a day die in traffic accidents in the U. S.

Fine by me
By vitp on 5/15/2013 1:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
I personally never drink at all if I know I'll need to drive. To me drinking is not worth it. It would be a stupid way to risk my life and life of others on the road.

Sobriety tests
By karndog on 5/15/2013 1:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
What i don't understand from watching American TV shows like Cops and other police clip shows, is why your policemen even bother with those stupid sobriety tests?

How many man hours are wasted by trying to prove some blatantly obvious drunk is intoxicated enough to arrest them when you can just shove a breathalyser in their face and be on your way?? How many man hours are wasted dealing with uncooperative drunks making them walk in a straight line or saying the alphabet backwards and other redundant exams, before they can actually breathalyse them, when they could be doing other policework??

In Australia, you get pulled over, they tell you to count to 10, and before you can even count to 5 they have a reading, give you your license back and you're on your way and so are they to test more drivers.

Drop to .08 BAC
By Finithesis on 5/15/2013 2:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
The cause of states lowering the limit to .08 had very, very little to do with MADD and almost everything to do with the federal government threatening (and actually following through with the threat)to constrict federal funding to states (even though the money came from the taxpayers of those states in the first place) that didn't drop the limit. IIRC, Texas was the only holdout state that kept its limit at .10 for a few years before the reduced infrastructure funding (to national highways) was too great of a burden and they caved to federal bullying.

Arrest the sleepy people!
By kwrzesien on 5/15/2013 2:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
Out of the other two thirds of fatal accidents how many are due to sleepy drivers? In fact many of the alcohol-related accidents are really drowsy-related accidents. Come on people! If you are going out late at night and drinking, make sure you sleep in to noon or get a nap! I'm pretty sure many of the "cross the median" and "cross the double-yellow line" type accidents are just people dozing off, drunk or not.

They should be made to wear sleep monitors and thrown in jail for leaving the house without a solid eight hours of sleep!

can't leave your car there
By valkator on 5/15/2013 5:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
"Who's sober enough to drive? ....Ok, who's drunk, but that special kind of drunk where you're a better driver because you know you're drunk, you know the kind of drunk where you probably shouldn't drive, but you do anyways because, I mean come on, you got to get your car home, right? I mean what do they expect me do, take a bus? Is that what they want? For me to take a bus? Well screw that! You take a bus."
-Family Guy

Sorry, had to post that.

By In2Boost on 5/15/2013 6:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
Car & Driver did a story on this a few years back.
They found that the accidents/fatalities were caused by those who were "blotto," not those with .08 or under. This seems to be echoed by portions of this article and other posters as well.

Another poster also had a good point about a single micro-brew pushing a person over the edge. Businesses will lose money since people will drink less, or refrain altogether. They will have to make that money up somehow to stay in business, so prices of other items will rise.

Let's not fool ourselves. This is about money, not safety. Court fees and fines will exist where there were none before. It will ruin the lives of and make criminals of people who would not necessarily be one under the .08 law, and of people who pose no more of a threat than any other driver on the road.

I'm not advocating driving while drunk or impaired by any means, but this just seems like yet another reactionary response that is admittedly not thought out. We seriously should be able to do better than this.

This just in...
By inperfectdarkness on 5/16/2013 3:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
AB Inbev has decided to play along by lowering the alcohol content of several leading beers from 5% to 4.8%.

Anyone else
By lagomorpha on 5/16/2013 8:52:05 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone else want MADD to be declared a terrorist cell and waterboarded? They obviously hate our freedoms.

This is about control, not safety
By talikarni on 5/16/2013 3:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
As we see this administration flat out deny events they are obviously doing, this latest claim is all about control over the people, not safety or anything else.

By Philippine Mango on 5/15/2013 1:46:33 PM , Rating: 1
I don't like the fact that everyone is of the presumption that if you get into a car accident and you've got a blood alcohol of anything, that automatically the alcohol caused the collision, not just shitty driving.

Wrong focus entirely
By ciparis on 5/15/13, Rating: 0
Are these people bored?
By Fidget on 5/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Are these people bored?
By jimbojimbo on 5/15/2013 12:14:26 PM , Rating: 3
If you feel that's what happened you can request a blood test which is FAR more accurate and would override the simple breath test. Besides, do you drive like crap after rinsing your mouth with Listerine?
They should really gauge the punishment on the level you're at.
.05% gets license suspended for a year - or something
.08% gets license permanently suspended - no exceptions
Maybe people will quit drinking and driving but if they want to do it they have to pay the consequences.

RE: Are these people bored?
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 12:26:52 PM , Rating: 4
.08% gets license permanently suspended - no exceptions
This I don't agree with. If it's a first time offense, most certainly not. Some people DO learn their lesson and never do it again.

RE: Are these people bored?
By MrBungle123 on 5/15/2013 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 1
yes then we can load the prison system with tens of thousands of people arrested for driving with a suspended license that had it taken away because they had 1.35 beers!

If they set the limit low enough they can just start arresting everyone that steps out of a bar and into a car.

RE: Are these people bored?
By degobah77 on 5/15/2013 1:54:37 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, freedom! Freedom to obesity, working 60-80 hour work weeks, paying 40% income tax, and now the freedom to get arrested for drinking a beer and driving home!

I don't even know what is legal anymore. Pretty sure I'm doing something wrong right now.

RE: Are these people bored?
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 2:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
You're posting on an internet forum on company time. Clearly you're a lazy, stealing piece of crap.


RE: Are these people bored?
By BRB29 on 5/16/2013 7:53:58 AM , Rating: 2
wait what?
Why do you work 60-80hrs a week. A full time job is at least 80hrs a week.

10% on taxable income from $0 to $8,925, plus
15% on taxable income over $8,925 to $36,250, plus
25% on taxable income over $36,250 to $87,850, plus
28% on taxable income over $87,850 to $183,250, plus
33% on taxable income over $183,250 to $398,350, plus
35% on taxable income over $398,350 to $400,000, plus
39.6% on taxable income over $400,000.

I highly doubt you are making over 400k. If you were making over 400k, you still average well under that in taxes because only anything past 400k gets taxed 39.6%.

It takes about 4 beer to get an average man of 180 lb to .08 so a beer won't get you arrested. This is if you slam 4 beer and leave immediately. If you spend 2 hrs at the bar and drink 4 beer then you probably already processed 2 of them.

You don't know what's legal or what you're saying.

RE: Are these people bored?
By degobah77 on 5/16/2013 8:39:14 AM , Rating: 2
I don't slam bud lights considering I make over $400k/year ;) However, I do like Belgian beers, which are regularly 9-14% ABV and sold in 750ml bottles.

So as I said, I go out and enjoy one of my favorite beers, and I very well may be over that 0.05 BAC level. Looks like I'm gonna have to take a cab home after every single happy hour Monday - Friday during my 120 hour work week. Or just not go out at all and contribute nothing to my local economy, letting all my favorite bars and restaurants struggle to stay open.

God forbid I order a second beer and enjoy this American freedom. After 2 beers, I'm sure I'll be jailed for premeditated attempted vehicular mass murder and suicide.

Or maybe, just maybe, some people can drive just fine and should be granted the privilege once they demonstrate it to the licensing state.

RE: Are these people bored?
By Fidget on 5/16/2013 10:25:57 AM , Rating: 2
I was merely making a point that the .05 level is aburdly low.

Also, I would imagine most people who would be getting hit with a DUI for a .05 would be through sobriety check points and not from being pulled over from driving like "crap".

RE: Are these people bored?
By degobah77 on 5/16/2013 11:24:52 AM , Rating: 2
Pulling over cars that are swerving, driving erratically, excessively speeding, running red lights makes more sense if you're truly looking for dangerous drunk drivers. That sounds like providing a public safety service, rather than the purely revenue based, NON-safety related DUIs that result from freedom raping checkpoints or random tail lights being out, or something else that has absolutely nothing to do with how much alcohol was consumed.

RE: Are these people bored?
By A11 on 5/15/2013 2:03:37 PM , Rating: 3
You could rinse with listerine for a minute and blow a .05.


RE: Are these people bored?
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 2:09:39 PM , Rating: 3
On the other hand, products such as mouthwash or breath spray can "fool" breath machines by significantly raising test results. Listerine mouthwash, for example, contains 27% alcohol. The breath machine is calibrated with the assumption that the alcohol is coming from alcohol in the blood diffusing into the lung rather than directly from the mouth, so it applies a partition ratio of 2100:1 in computing blood alcohol concentration—resulting in a false high test reading. To counter this, officers are not supposed to administer a PBT for 15 minutes after the subject eats, vomits, or puts anything in their mouth. In addition, most instruments require that the individual be tested twice at least two minutes apart. Mouthwash or other mouth alcohol will have somewhat dissipated after two minutes and cause the second reading to disagree with the first, requiring a retest. (Also see the discussion of the "slope parameter" of the Intoxilyzer 5000 in the "Mouth Alcohol" section above.)

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki