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Automotive > Booze Behind the Wheel

Booze Behind the Wheel

the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its recommendation that
states reduce the blood alcohol content (BAC) level that qualifies as impaired
driving to 0.05%.  Every state currently
has that limit set at 0.08%.  Not too
many years ago the standard was 0.10%, and the reduction has clearly resulted
in less traffic deaths caused by impaired drivers, down from about 21,000 per
year in 1982 to half that now.  Since
1995, the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths has held steady at about
10,000 persons per year.

I would go nuts if I lost a loved one to an
alcohol-impaired driver.*   Yet I do not believe the NTSB recommendation
is the answer to lessening highway deaths caused by impaired drivers.  We know that many, many more drivers drive
under the influence than get caught.  With the BAC level set at 0.08%, the key is not lowering that level but
increasing the incidence of enforcement. 

Improved enforcement of our current law would have a
major impact upon traffic deaths caused by alcohol and drug impaired
drivers.  It would not be difficult to
determine the best places to establish DUI checkpoints on the highways.  When these are done they are always
effective, but they are not done nearly enough. 

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and similar
organizations have helped raise the consciousness level of the perils of
impaired driving, but there seems to have been a decrease in getting that word
out lately.  I’d like to see as many ads
on TV regarding this subject as there are for erectile dysfunction.  The poor guy who can’t get it up is not
nearly as bad off as the poor innocent who gets killed by an impaired driver!


*Notice I am not saying “drunk driver.”  This is a misnomer.  One does not have to be “drunk” to be
convicted of DUI/DWI.  One only needs to
be impaired or under the influence to the extent one’s normal faculties are affected.  This is a lesser standard that “drunk.” 

posted on May 17, 2013 9:00 AM ()


Wish there was a mechanism that could be installed in cars that would detect alcoholic breath and the car would not start. Or is that too sci fi?
comment by tealstar on May 18, 2013 7:27 AM ()
There is a similar device on the market.
reply by elderjane on May 19, 2013 7:01 AM ()
A start would be to impose a lifetime ban on a convicted drunk driver who caused an accident. Now I see drivers with multiple drunk driving convictions paying up and getting their licenses back after a period of time. And that's just wrong, too. How about liability to tavern owners and bartenders?
comment by jondude on May 17, 2013 6:08 PM ()
For sure. Did you see the recent story about the club owner who fired his bartender for calling in a customer that drove off from the club after having too much to drink? That guy should be flayed.
reply by steeve on May 17, 2013 6:21 PM ()
The Colorado legislature is currently trying to figure out how to define impaired stoner driving now that recreational pot is legal here.
comment by troutbend on May 17, 2013 4:22 PM ()
It will become common as DUI-alcohol. Of course, more teens are killing themselves by DWT (driving while texting) than DWI.
reply by steeve on May 17, 2013 6:20 PM ()
Please post a nice photo so I can cleanse the other one out of my mind! I think I have a phobia or something about puke.
comment by drmaus on May 17, 2013 10:27 AM ()
Must've been a revolting childhood experience...
reply by steeve on May 17, 2013 12:41 PM ()

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