Drinking And Driving: Lower The BAC Limit To .05%, Says NTSB

The blood alcohol limit for drivers would change to .05% if the National Transportation Safety Board has its way.{} On Tuesday the board recommended lowering the limit in all 50-states from its current .08%.

What that would mean, for a 180-pound man, is that more than three drinks over a 90-minute period would likely put him over the .05% limit.{} At .08%, that is around four drinks over the same time period.{} The amount one can drink and stay under the limit varies, mainly by weight and physical condition, i.e. the lighter one is the less one can drink and stay under the limit.

The NTSB lacks the power to enforce the new limit, but its statement on Tuesday could push states to lower their limits, especially if lawmakers have already discussed moving in that direction.

When the BAC limit lowered from .10 to .08 a few years ago several states delayed enforcing the lower limit.{} But the government started withholding federal highway money until the states went along.{} The last one did in 2004.

"In the last 30 years, more than 440,000 people have perished in this country due to alcohol-impaired driving. What will be our legacy 30 years from now?"{}asked NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "If we don't tackle alcohol-impaired driving now, when will we find the will to do so?"

The NTSB estimates that around 31% of all fatal American auto accidents are the result of drinking and driving.