The National Transportation Safety Board today recommended lowering the blood-alcohol content that constitutes drunk driving.
Currently, all 50 states have a limit of .08. The new number would be .05.
The board has no legal power, however, and can only make recommendations to state legislators.
The American standard of .08 is higher than most European countries. Still, today’s proposal was not met with universal open arms.
The American Beverage Institute, a trade group representing 8,000 restaurants, blasted the report for focusing on moderate drinkers rather than more dangerous drunken drivers.
The average woman reaches 0.05% blood-alcohol content after one drink, according to the institute. But more than 70% of drunken-driving fatalities are caused by drivers with at least 0.15%, representing six or seven drinks, it said.
"This recommendation is ludicrous," said Sarah Longwell, the institute's managing director. "Further restricting the moderate consumption of alcohol by responsible adults prior to driving does nothing to stop hard-core drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel."
As you can see, it doesn’t take a hell of a lot of booze for an average man to get to that .05 level.