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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
For more information email: info@clarkstonlegal.com

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NTSB Recommends Lowering Drunk Driving BAC

The average female who consumes two drinks in an hour will have a blood alcohol level of about .05.  Yesterday, the NTSB voted to recommend lowering the legal limit from .08, the level that all 50 states have set as their legal limit, to the lower level.

It took more than 20-years for all 50 states to lower the legal limit for alcohol from .10 to .08.  Last month, a bill in the Michigan House calling for a return to the higher BAC was shot down.

If Michigan adopts the NTSB recommendation [unlikely anytime soon], we here at the Law Blogger will need to think twice about ordering that second drink with our dinner.  The American Beverage Institute, the "spirits" lobby, is already taking steps to prevent this recommendation from gaining any traction, calling the NTSB's stance, "ludicrous", and saying the move would criminalize, "perfectly legal conduct".

On the other hand, the NTSB points to the ever-present threat of drunk drivers still on our roadways, and will not let the nation forget that 10,000 deaths still occur each year due to drunk drivers.  Also, the NTSB points to Europe where a similar legal definition of drunk driving has resulted in a significant long-term reduction in drunk-driving related fatalities and injuries.

Experts agree that once a driver's blood-alcohol is over .05, vision begins to be impaired and driving skills are affected.  Most of the time, this is not a problem.

Try telling that to one of the parents who has lost a child to drunk-driving.  Again, we here at the Law Blogger find ourselves saying: have that night-cap at home, and keep the rest of us out of it.

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