Feds want to lower standard for DUI.

My goodness? Okay, if I was politically correct I’d say yay!  But this is not logical.  People have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and drive home. They are fine to drive. This is crazy. I’m sure many, many disagree with me.  But this is crazy.

Washington (CNN) — A decade-old benchmark for determining when a driver is legally drunk should be lowered in an effort to reduce alcohol-related car crashes that claim about 10,000 lives each year, U.S. safety investigators said on Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all 50 states lower the threshold from 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC) to 0.05.

The idea is part of a safety board initiative outlined in a staff report and approved by the panel to eliminate drunk driving, which accounts for about a third of all road deaths.

The board acknowledged that there was “no silver bullet,” but that more action is needed.

“This is critical because impaired driving remains one of the biggest killers in the United States,” NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman said ahead of a vote by the panel on a staff report.  Read more here.

15 thoughts on “Feds want to lower standard for DUI.

  1. It’s not that crazy, actually. In most of Europe it’s 0.5mg per 1ml of blood or lower. The exception is the UK, and that’s simply because our politicians haven’t yet got the change passed, but I do know it does get discussed fairly regularly. See http://www.safetravel.co.uk/europedrinkdrivinglimits.html for where I got my info, which also ends with saying that it’s best to just not drink and drive at all.

    I also remember being told about a study that was done with a bunch of bus drivers here in the UK. They all had to sit in the drivers seat of a bus, and say if it would pass between two cones in front of the bus. The answer was always “no” because the cones were placed just slightly too close together. The drivers were then taken away, given half a pint of beer (not even a full pint) and then asked to repeat the test. The majority of them said that the bus would fit between the cones, which were the exact same cones as before and hadn’t been moved. They would have been under the legal limit to drive in most countries, but if they’d actually been driving, they’d have ended up with nice scrapes down the sides of their vehicles.

  2. The goal in the US is not to drink “too much” and drive. In many countries in Europe the standard is not to drink and drive. Even when I was drinking, I did not drive but used public transportation or walked to the local bar. I would rather see the European standard in use here.

  3. I think you are probably right. But in Europe you can walk everywhere but here you can’t, except in NYC. We have to drive everywhere. This law would seem to punish the non-abusers. They should increase punishment for the higher BACs and not the lower ones. I do appreciate and understand that laws like these are meant to change the culture, mindset. But it seems too punitve.

    • Actually, you can’t walk everywhere in Europe. And you can’t always use public transport either, because it’s either not available or not safe. Also, the penalty here in the UK does increase the higher your blood alcohol content, and it’s also a system designed to try to deter repeat offenses – you get more than so many points on your licence, regardless of how you got them (drink driving, or speeding, or any other traffic offense) and they will ban you from driving for two years minimum. A friend of mine, who when I met him was without licence due to drink-driving (it was the morning after the night before when he got caught and banned) got caught a second time after having had his licence back only a little over 12 months, because he’d had a crash and the result of this was he got banned for three and a half years.

      A DUI may be a serious thing, but maybe the idea is to make people think before they get into their car after having had a pint. This advert was shown on the TV here in the UK to try to get across just how serious it is, but without having to be graphic about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwHoOJazEMQ

      • i think you are actually right. ugh. it bugs me the more govt gets into our business. but drinking and driving, if truly drunk, creates a weapon out of a vehicle. so I get it. I get it. thanks faith hope chocolate.

        • Here in the UK, it’s a government agency which grants people driving licences. I don’t know about in the USA, but I would expect it’s the same. Plus the emergency services which deal with accidents are also funded from the government, so I would say it is totally the government’s business to be more cost effective in these areas, and if a zero-tolerance to drink-driving means the roads are safer, that there are fewer accidents and therefore fewer call outs, then actually, that’s fine by me.

          • Yes, Drunk Driving is a huge problem in the U.S. And, most European countries have the DUI limit ranging from .02 – .05 % BAC. I think that’s a good thing. Also, to get a driver’s license in most European countries, it’s a lot, LOT more training than we get here in the U.S.

          • I had driving lessons for seven and a half months, at on average one hour a week with a qualified instructor, then three or four hours a week going out with my dad to practice. I also had a lesson after I’d passed my test to practice driving on the motorway before going on a long distance drive of my own. (Learner drivers in the UK aren’t allowed to drive on the motorway, but you can once you’ve passed the test, and it seems slightly silly to me that there isn’t a compulsory 2nd batch of lessons for things like motorway driving and towing trailers/caravans, although you do have to do a separate test for a motorbike or for a waggon/lorry or a bus, or a mini-bus.)

  4. As a born and raised Italian I can tell you I have been drinking wine since age 12. Italians look at drinking different than Americans. We like our wine and some of us also like beer.

    I drink two glasses of wine every evening, every night of the week..yet I have never been intoxicated. Intoxication is frown upon in Italy and clearly in my family. Us kids just never got into the binge drinking more common in Northern Europe and America.

    You would be hard pressed to see a drunk Italian we [usually] stop at happily tipsy…LOL

    Now living in America I can see clear fundamental differences in attitudes about alcohol. In Italy about 10 years ago or so they dropped the level to .05 but increased the speed limits….um

    Personally, if I am out to dinner and drink one glass of wine I will drive if I have two or more I will not.

    In Italy (Milan) I remember seeing Americans and the Brits getting drunk when out in public and honestly it was embarrassing.

    Please understand I am not saying there aren’t Italians who get trashed I assuming there just has to be, even though not once did I ever witness it for myself.

    Honestly I think the .05 percent might be a little too much. Next we’ll have Catholics after receiving Holy Communion busted for public intoxication…LOL

    • Hi DAVIDE. Interesting post. Funny, I only spent two summers in Spain and traveled throughout Europe, including Italy, and I must agree with you. I never saw drunk Italians or Spaniards. Only drunk Americans. Myself Included. I think you guys might be doing something right over there. : )

      • Dear Sarah, actually in live over here but only because the taxation system and politics suck. Italy is a wonderful country and I love my fellow countrymen but honestly it can be a weird place to live…mostly I miss the mountains and architecture..I absolutely hate American architecture especially the dreaded strip-mall…all of them look like boxes and quite ugly.


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