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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



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RE: Where is the data?
By BRB29 on 5/15/2013 12:39:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/overturn...


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
quote:
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
quote:
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.


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