National Transportation Safety Board Votes to Lower Blood-Alcohol Content Level

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted to recommend that all states lower the blood-alcohol content (BAC) level from .08 to .05. According to the NTSB, nearly 10,000 people are killed and 170,000 are injured each year due to alcohol related vehicle accidents. Believe it or not, 10,000 fatalities is actually a drop from the 20,000 reported annually 30 years ago when the BAC was .10. The same study done by the NTSB showed that 4 million people admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Of course, multiple restaurant trade groups immediately began to criticize the study. Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, said that lowering the limit would incriminate perfectly responsible behavior. The recommendation was voted upon after the board had reviewed other countries statistics. When Australia dropped its BAC from .08 to .05, it reported a 5-18 percent drop in fatal car accidents. The NTSB also reported that at .05 some drivers began having depth perception issues, and at .07 cognitive abilities became impaired.

The NTSB has no legal authority to order states to change the limit, only to recommend that they do. Similarly, the Department of Transportation can only endorse the recommendation but has no authority to make it the law. Although stricter laws may deter and decrease the number of drunk drivers on the road, there will still be those who disobey the laws altogether. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, then please contact our Nashville accident attorney today at (615) 845-6141. We want to help you through this difficult time.

“From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One.’” Isaiah 24:1


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