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Lower the blood-alcohol limit for drivers, NTSB recommends

Posted May 14, 2013 1:29 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday recommended that states lower the blood-alcohol limit for drivers from .08 percent to .05 percent.

The new recommendation was among several recommendations by the NTSB, report the New York Times, CNN and the Associated Press. The NTSB says the lower standard would save 500 to 800 lives a year.

The current standard was set a decade ago when a new federal law conditioned highway construction funds to the lower limit.

According to the Times, drivers with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent are 169 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than those who haven’t been drinking, while those with a level of .05 percent are 38 percent more likely to be in a crash than nondrinkers.

A man who weighs 180 pounds could generally drink four beers or glasses of wine in 90 minutes without reaching the current limit, the Times says. At the lower limit, he could drink three beers or glasses of wine.

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