Should Legal BAC Limit Be Lowered to 0.05%?


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended to all 50 states that they lower the blood alcohol content that constitutes drunk driving from 0.08 to 0.05. This recommendation is based on the statistics in recent years. Alcohol-related accidents remain a consistent threat to public safety, killing approximately 10,000 people per year and injuring another 170,000. Each year, four million people admit to drinking and driving. When Australia lowered its BAC from 0.08 to 0.05, there was a 5-18% drop in traffic accidents. According to the NTSB, at 0.05 BAC some drivers began having trouble with vision, and at 0.07 cognitive abilities were impaired. The risk of having an accident increases from 39% to more than 100% when BAC is raised from 0.05 to 0.08. The NTSB also estimates that 1000 lives could be saved each year with the lower limit. Criticisms of this new rule include the idea that “perfectly responsible behavior is being criminalized” and that adding the new restriction “will do nothing to stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.” The United States is one of a small handful of countries with the BAC limit at 0.08 (most countries already have it at 0.05).


Having recently turned 21 years old just months ago, this issue is one that I will have to keep my eye on. As far as whether or not I agree with it, I have to say that I’m on board with anything that improves the safety and well-being of the public. The number of accidents from drunk driving are scary, and for me it’s simply not worth the risk. No matter what the BAC limit is, you should be smart enough to not drink and drive. Plan ahead of time whether you are going to have a designated driver or if you are going to walk or whatever. If you know you are going to be drinking, then you should not plan on driving. This is a very serious issue and should not be taken lightly.

Let me know what you guys think about this recommendation in the poll down below.

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About Pierro Perspective

Die hard Boston sports fan
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