The recent announcement that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) supports the lowering of the legal BAC level from .08 to .05 is a critical step toward reducing DUI fatalities and injuries and not a moment to soon. Europe and Australia have already lowered their legal levels to .05 or less resulting in diminished fatalities.
Back in 1982, Surgeon General Koop held a three day public conference in Washington DC seeking the best way to reduce the DWI deaths and injuries in the US. He published the results of the conference experts in a widely distributed report calling for the lowering of the legal BAC to .04. Dr. Koop also recommended unannounced regular safety traffic stops to instill the fear to the drunk driver that they might get caught. None of Dr. Koop’s suggestions have been put into effect to this day.
Research shows that a driver begins to lose their peripheral vision at the .04 BAC level which accounts for many deaths and injuries of innocent pedestrians and bicyclists. RID supports the NTBS in launching a reduction of the legal BAC limit from .08 to .05, increasing unannounced checkpoints and in mandating license suspensions for drunken drivers.