All 50 states have a blood-alcohol content threshold of .08 when it comes to determining whether someone is too intoxicated to drive. Individual states may have separate thresholds governing minors or when penalties increase. The state of Utah, however, recently voted to lower that threshold to .05. The Tampa Bay Times reports on a study recommending that all states lower the threshold.
A 489-page report commissioned by the U.S. government and presided over by a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine throws its weight behind the proposal to lower the drunk driving threshold from .08 to .05.
The report goes further than simply demanding a lower threshold. It also asks for alcohol taxes to be raised and for reductions in the availability of alcohol. Reducing the number of days and hours that alcohol is available to be sold was among the suggestions. It is suggested by the report that doubling alcohol taxes could result in an 11% reduction in traffic deaths related to alcohol.
Additionally, the report suggests that limits should be placed on the ability to market alcohol and anti-drinking campaigns similar to the anti-smoking campaigns should be utilized.
Despite their intention towards the public good, all of these proposals are likely to draw fierce opposition from the alcohol and restaurant industries.
The proposals and the study were commissioned in an effort to seek a solution to one of the deadliest dangers facing motorists today: driving while intoxicated.
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