According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), lowering the legal limit on drinking and driving could save hundreds of lives each year.
NTSB is pushing the proposal for approval by Congress and the states to lower the current limit of 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent or lower. A blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent means a small woman could have a single drink in an hour and be near the limit. A medium-sized man could have two drinks within an hour before hitting the level.
The recommendation isn’t expected to stick, considering it took nearly two decades to lower the limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent. In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving aren’t even endorsing the proposal.
The biggest problem being that many believe a 0.05 blood alcohol level doesn’t necessarily mean you’re driving impaired. NTSB on the other hand states that a person with a 0.05 percent blood alcohol level has a 38 percent higher chance of getting into an accident than someone who hasn’t been drinking. NTSB also reinforced its stance by saying more than 100 countries have reduced their legal limit to 0.05 percent or lower. The agency estimates that lowering the level to 0.05 percent would save 500-800 lives annually.