NTSB Confident States Will Adopt Lower Blood Alcohol Limit


The NTSB agency is recommending that the states should reduce their maximum legal blood alcohol limit from .08% to .05%

Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board unleashed a firestorm of criticism against the agency when it recommended that the maximum legally permissible blood-alcohol limit be lowered from .08% to .05%. Recently, the agency chief assured the public that the agency was still in favor of the reduction of the blood-alcohol limit in spite of the fact that no state has yet moved to reduce the limit, and the fact that there has been very little support for such a measure.

The agency voted unanimously earlier this year to recommend that states reduce their maximum legal blood alcohol limit from .08% to .05%. All 50 states currently follow the .08% blood-alcohol limit rule, and no state has come out openly in support of the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations. The Board does not have any authority to pressure states to implement any of its recommendations, although the agency does frequently offer very solid advice and recommendations that are targeted at helping reduce the risk of accidents and keeping Americans safer.

Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not openly come out in favor of the reduced blood-alcohol limit. The agency says that it does not have data that would support the Board’s recommendation.

The criticism of the proposal however has been extremely vocal. The American Beverage Institute says that reducing the limit from .08 to .05 would result in the criminalization of perfectly legal and appropriate behavior. The Board has even been criticized by those that claim that the agency wants to take the American public back into the Prohibition era.

However, recently speaking at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Hersmann said that her agency was not giving up on the proposal to lower blood-alcohol limits.

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