Drunk driving accidents are some of the most horrific accidents that occur, many of which end with deadly results. To help reduce the risk of fatal alcohol-related accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believes that deterrence is a solution.
On Tuesday afternoon, NTSB officials asked states to lower their legal blood alcohol concentration limits from .08 — as it is in Texas — down to .05, nearly in half. “Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable,” said the current chairman for the NTSB. “Alcohol deaths are not accidents.”
As evidence of the deterring effects of lowering the limit that far, the NTSB officials cited statistics from over 100 other countries that have already lowered their limits to .05 or even lower. Europe was used as a prime example due to the fact that there was measurable evidence that showed alcohol-related traffic fatalities had dropped by 50 percent in the decade after the country lowered its legal limit. ‘
The recommendation did not come without the expectation of opposition from states, drivers and restaurant industry representatives. Lowering the rate to that level would mean that a women 120 pounds would be limited to a single drink, and in some cases less than that before hitting the limit. There is no doubt that restaurants will worry about lost profits from a legislative change such as this one.
Agency officials said that they didn’t want to discourage having a drink at a local establishment, but instead they wanted to encourage finding a different way home. They know passing this type of legislation would be a hard road, but it is the goal. “It was very difficult to get .08 in most states,” admitted Adkins.