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National Transportation Safety Board Asks States To Adopt Much Lower Blood Alcohol Level To Determine DUI

DUI Checkpoints

Joe Raedel, Getty Images

It’s estimated that 170,000 people are involved in an alcohol related traffic accident and recent studies confirm that almost 4 million people drive under the influence of alcohol. That’s a huge concern in regards to public safety. That concern is causing the National Transportation Safety Board to rethink it’s recommendation on an acceptable blood alcohol limit.

As it stands, all 50 states have a set blood alcohol level of .08, which is an indication of the percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood. Anything over .08 puts a person who has been drinking at risk of prosecution.

Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency responsible for travel safety investigations, urged all states to adopt a lower blood alcohol content of .05 as a threshold to determine a DUI charge.

According to the Associated Press a woman who weighs 120 lbs could reach that blood alcohol content of .05 in an hour with just one drink. For a man weighing 160 lbs or more, it would take just two.

The NTSB notes that the lower legal level has been adopted by more than 100 countries and that deaths related to alcohol were cut in half in just ten years.

A new blood alcohol content of .05 would require the approval of Congress and all 50 states, but the NTSB is confident. Robert Molloy, a report development chief with the agency said, “It’s going to happen. We don’t know how long it will take, but it will happen.”

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