NTSB prioritizes lowering BAC limit in 2016

Posted at 8:36 AM, Jan 22, 2016

The National Transportation Safety Board says that lowering the blood-alcohol content limit for drivers is one of its top 10 "Most Wanted" items for 2016.

Right now, the legal limit on blood-alcohol content is 0.08 percent if you are over 21-years-old and are not operating a commercial vehicle. For a 160-pound person, that equates to about four drinks in one hour, when a drink is defined as one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce shot of hard alcohol.

The NTSB recommends that the legal blood-alcohol content level be lowered to 0.05 percent.

This is not the first time the NTSB has made this recommendation; it has been pushing for a lower blood alcohol limit since 2013. This year, the NTSB also acknowledged that substances other than alcohol can also be a problem with drivers.

In a statement regarding its 2016 "Most Wanted List," the NTSB acknowledged that impairment continues to be "an issue in all modes of transportation... however, drugs other than alcohol can also impair drivers and operators of other types of vehicles – whether these drugs are recreational, over-the-counter, or prescription."

The NTSB did not, however, offer any recommendation on measuring or limiting those other substances.

Individual states have the final say over legal blood-alcohol content limits and impaired driving laws.

But will it work at making things safer? 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly spent the day talking to law enforcement, a state senator and a family that lost a daughter to a drunk driver's hit-and-run crash.




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