Tag Archives: BAC

Agency Recommends Lowering Legal BAC Level

The National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, is recommending that all 50 states lower the blood alcohol content rate.

The NTSB is recommending that all 50 states lower the legal BAC rate to 0.05. Currently, the legal BAC rate is 0.08. The board believes that this change will reduce the nation’s drunken driving death rate. This change was implemented in Europe, and the number drunken driving deaths dropped significantly. Currently, the death rate, in the United States, is around 10,000 lives each year.

Multiple factors can affect a person’s blood alcohol content level.  A 140 pound female will typically hit the 0.08 blood alcohol level after having 3 drinks in one hour. This same person would reach the 0.05 level after having two to three drinks in one hour. A 180 pound male will hit 0.08 after four drinks in an hour. This person would reach 0.05 after two to three drinks in an hour.

Drivers can experience impaired driving at a 0.01 BAC level. Some drivers with a 0.01 BAC level may have attention problems and lane deviation. At a 0.02 BAC level, drivers may exhibit drowsiness. The difficulty with driving continues to worsen as the BAC level rises.   A police officer also has the right to arrest an individual even if his or her BAC level is within the legal limit. It is up to the officer’s discretion to decide if the driver is impaired.

The NTSB investigates transportation accidents. This board does not have the power to create new regulations. The NTSB can only recommend changes in legislation.  It does have significant influence over public safety matters. The board’s opinions could influence legislators and transportation agencies.  If the legislation does not pass now, the board’s influence may eventually push the legislation through.

In addition to changing the legal BAC level, the NTSB also recommended new state laws regarding arresting drunken drivers. The NTSB suggested that police have the right to confiscate licenses from drunken drivers. There are some states that already do this, but the board is recommending that officers in all states be allowed to do this. The NTSB is also pushing for laws that require all first-time offenders to have ignition locking devices. These devices prevent cars from starting until breath samples are analyzed. This will keep drunk drivers off the road.

If you are ever involved in a car accident because of a drunken driver, you should contact a Newport Beach car accident lawyer.