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Lower alcohol limits proposed by NTSB

In an effort to further reduce the number of highway traffic fatalities, the National Transportation Safety Board is proposing that the legal alcohol limit be reduced from .08 percent to .05 percent. The recommendation comes from recent report issued by the NTSB which notes that more than 100 countries have adopted this standard.

In fact, european countries have reduced the number of traffic fatalities in half based on the .05 standard.

While the recommendation is not a proposed amendment, it may have an influence on legislators whe are feeling pressure to reduce traffic deaths. The current standard has worked since it was made the law of the land in 2000, but traffic deaths have remained consistent within the last 10 years.

The NTSB also reiterated that its focus was on traffic safety, even though alcohol vendors and restauranteurs may see otherwise. For the average 160 pound man, two drinks would put him at the .05 limit, where one drink for a woman weighing 120 pounds make driving illegal. As such, the new standard could change the way restaurants, bars and clubs do business.

Additionally, sports venues across Colorado would be affected, as beer offerings would likely be curtailed as people try to avoid being cited for drunk driving.

Nevertheless, the NTSB is interested in reaching zero deaths attributable to drunk driving. Chair Deborah Hersman explained that all alcohol related accidents are crimes, and that they are preventable.

The recommendations are destined to have opponents, particularly the alcoholic beverage industry and other hospitality groups. Even anti-drunk driving advocacy groups (such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving) have not endorsed the new standard.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, Lowering legal limit from 08. to .05 recommended by safety board, May 14, 2013