The National Transportation Safety Board is calling on states to help prevent traffic deaths by reducing the threshold for drunk driving from the current blood alcohol content of 0.08 to a new standard of 0.05. The lower limit has cut drunken driving fatalities by half in Europe, the agency says.
A woman weighing less than 120 pounds can reach 0.05 after just one drink and a man weighing up to 160 pounds reaches 0.05 after two drinks, the Associated Press said in a report about the NTSB proposal.
The NTSB concedes that it will be difficult to get states to lower the standards for drunk driving but believes it is necessary.
The recommendation comes just days after a 21-year-old woman was killed when the car in which she was a passenger hit a guardrail and crashed on the Williamsburg Bridge. The driver was charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, according to the New York Daily News.
The NTSB made other safety recommendations, including: high-visibility enforcement of impaired driving laws and incorporating passive alcohol sensing technology into enforcement efforts; expanding the use of in-vehicle devices to prevent operation by an impaired driver; using DWI courts and other programs to reduce recidivism by repeat offenders; and establishing measurable goals for reducing impaired driving and tracking progress toward those goals.
The NTSB said that more than 4 million people a year drive while intoxicated and that half of the intoxicated drivers stopped by police escape detection. The agency calls for greater use of devices that alert police to the presence of alcohol when they are near an intoxicated driver.
If you have suffered injuries in a crash caused by a drunk driver, contact the New York City car accident law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., to review your case and discuss your right to compensation.