by Nate Wooley | May 15, 2013 12:59 pm
The National Transportation Safety Board says the tolerance for alcohol in the blood should be cut in the interest of safety.
Lowering the limit to 0.05 — from the current 0.08 — could reduce the incidence of crashes by 50%, USA TODAY reports.
The NTSB is not a regulatory body. It can only make recommendations to the federal and state governments. Each state legislature would need to act on the recommendation to make it law or the federal government would need to enact a law that places pressure on the states.
That’s not a likely outcome. While the 0.05 threshold is the limit in more then 100 other countries, it is unlikely that the states will move anything soon. “When the limit was .10, it was very difficult to get it lowered to .08. We don’t expect any state to go to .05,” said a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association. The GHSA supports the current limit.
Both the GHSA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving support the use of ignition interlocks to prevent people from driving while under the influence of alcohol. Interlocks require the driver to blow into a tube to check their blood alcohol level before arming a car’s ignition.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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