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NTSB recommends lower blood alcohol level

On May 14, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that all 50 states, including New Jersey, adopt a uniformed blood-alcohol content (BAC) cutoff level of 0.05 percent. Majority of the states use a standard 0.08 percent BAC for adults. The NTSB, which advocates safety issues and investigates transportation accidents, recommended the new standard to create tighter standards to end drunk driving, which accounts for approximately one-third of road deaths in the United States.

The NTSB acknowledged there is no ‘silver bullet” to solving the problem of drunken driving auto accidents. However, it stated more action is needed on the state and federal levels. It estimates that lowering the rate to 0.05 percent would save as many as 800 lives each year. It also recommended more states enforce confiscating licenses from drivers exceeding the BAC limit. Another recommendation is to require ignition locking devices, which prevents cars from starting until the driver gives a breath sample.

The NTSB believes that lowering the alcohol limit is an unpopular request. For instance, the American Beverage Institute (ABI) criticized the BAC limit. It disputed that the average woman’s BAC reaches 0.05 percent after one drink. However, it believes that it will happen. In fact, the BAC limit of 0.05 percent is the current standard in 100 countries. It is unclear whether New Jersey will adopt the recommended BAC limit.

New Jersey State requires every driver to be sober when driving and obey traffic rules. When this doesn’t happen, an auto accident may occur. A lawyer experienced with auto accidents may help victims to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other monetary damages.

Source: CNN, “Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths“, Mike Ahlers, May 15, 2013