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National Transportation Safety Board Recommends Stricter Drunk Driving Laws

by Jose G. “Joey” Gonzalez, Jr. on 06/19/2013

In early May of this year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended lowering the blood alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05.  This one change, the NTSB stated, would save 500-800 lives per year.  The NTSB argues that at a blood alcohol level of 0.05, driver concentration begins to wane.  Currently, almost 10,000 deaths are attributed every year to drunk or impaired driving, and 31% of all highway fatalities are alcohol related.

The NTSB also recommended harsher penalties for drunk driving, including placing ignition locking devices in the vehicles of first time offenders and automatically revoking the license of anyone arrested with a 0.15 blood alcohol level or higher.

While the NTSB cannot change state or federal laws, the federal agency issued these recommendations to precipitate change throughout the United States.  US News reported that most European countries currently use a 0.05 blood alcohol level as the legal limit of intoxication.  The United States, Canada, and Iraq are among a small minority of countries still using a 0.08 blood alcohol level as the legal limit.

These recommendations were released on the anniversary of the largest drunk driving accident to occur in the United States.  In May of 1988, a drunk driver in Kentucky entered Interstate 71 in the wrong direction, hitting a school but and killing 24 children and three adults.

Even as the numbers of motor vehicle accidents and car accident fatalities decrease, we are all still at risk on our nation’s roads.  If a drunk driver has injured you or someone you love, contact the lawyers at Watts Guerra LLP.

Tags: Automobile Accidents, Drunk Driving

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