Daniel Hynes

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.05 Legal limit might be coming soon

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Although DWI arrests are constantly declining: "With drunk driving still a stubborn national problem that accounts for one-third of all traffic deaths, federal safety regulators on Tuesday called on states to take a dramatic step: lower the legal limit for drivers’ blood-alcohol content from 0.08% to at least 0.05%.

The National Transportation Safety Board also called for government incentives to prod states into lowering their drunk-driving standard.

"Most Americans think that we’ve solved the problem of impaired driving, but in fact, it’s still a national epidemic,” said NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman. Research shows that drivers with a blood-alcohol content, or BAC, above 0.05% "are impaired and at a significantly greater risk of being involved in a crash where someone is killed or injured."
In certain cases, a person can get a .05 BAC by having just one drink.    

The recommendation comes about 13 years after President Clinton signed legislation requiring states to set a 0.08% blood-alcohol level or lose millions of dollars in federal highway funds."

While NH typically follows the other states regarding federal gov. funding mandates, New Hampshire is the only state in the Country who loses millions of dollars in highway funding by not having a seatbelt requirement. So, once this catches on, it will be up to the legislature to decide whether to adopt it. Expect MADD and the police to heavily support lowering the limit, while the beverage industry may oppose it. It is important to note .05 is a rather arbitrary number, just like .08 (and the even older per se numbers which were .10 and up). Many people are not impaired at .05 or .08, but when it comes down to it, the legislature, after being bribed, just gives in when there isn't very strong support for having people drinking and then driving.

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Guest Saturday, 24 October 2020