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National Transportation Safety Board Calls for Lowering Blood Alcohol Limits

According to Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Alcohol Impaired Driving —a report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) — nearly 10,000 people are killed in automobile accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers each year in the United States. Another 173,000 are injured, 27,000 of whom suffer incapacitating injuries. Although the actual number of highway fatalities has fallen, the proportion of accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver remains constant at about 30 percent.

The NTSB is promoting specific tactics to reduce drunk driving:

  • Reducing the per se blood alcohol concentration limit for all drivers
  • Conducting high visibility enforcement of impaired driving laws
  • Incorporating passive alcohol-sensing technology into enforcement efforts
  • Using driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) courts and other programs to reduce recidivism by repeat DWI and DUI offenders
  • Establishing measurable goals for reducing impaired driving and tracking progress towards those goals

Current Pennsylvania law states that a blood alcohol level of .08 constitutes driving while intoxicated. The National Transportation Safety Board wants states to lower this threshold to .05. Nationwide alcohol-related car accidents cost $129.7 billion annually.

Our beliefs about DWI/DUI do not conform to our actions. The 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index, published by the AAA Foundation, found that 91 percent of respondents to a survey found that drunk driving posed a danger to themselves and 97 percent said that it was unacceptable to drive while under the influence of alcohol. However, 14 percent of respondents admitted to driving a car while they were at or over the legal limit for alcohol consumption. The NTSB report reveals that, in 2010, 424 people died in Pennsylvania in alcohol-related car accidents.

If you or a loved one is arrested on DWI or DUI charges, contact experienced criminal defense attorneys for help navigating the court system.

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