The National Transportation Safety Board again called on states to lower blood alcohol concentration, or BAC limits from .08 to .05. NTSB first called on states to establish BAC limits of .05 or lower in 2013. The change could mean some people are over the legal limit after just one or two drinks.
Impairment is a multifaceted problem, and it will take stricter laws better enforcement of those laws and improved education,” NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said.
The federal agency cites data from the last 15 years showing one-third of highway deaths involved an alcohol impaired driver. The NTSB said impairment begins before someone’s BAC reaches .08, and by that time, the risk of a fatal crash has more than doubled. Law enforcement officials said the legal limit can provide a false sense of security for drivers.
There’s a lot of conversation about how much can I drink and still be ok. I think that’s flirting with danger, and we should just avoid that if at all possible,” said Sergeant Robert E. Gable, and Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper certified as a drug recognition expert.
Any changes would require action from the Ohio state legislature, which determines the state’s BAC limit. The federal government could potentially use the power of the purse strings with grants to encourage a change, as happened with the legal age for alcohol use.