The NTSB wants to lower the legal blood alcohol limit for operating a motor vehicle to .05, from it’s current .08 by Federal mandate in all states. MADD is enthusiastically in favor. In fact MADD”S madness goes even further; they’d like to lower the legal limit 0.00. That would mean that even a trace of alcohol in your system when behind the wheel would result in a DUI charge if you were caught. It would also result in a DUI conviction because for all intents and purposes all defenses to the charge were repealed long ago.
Here’s the problem with this. The present standard of .08 is already too low. Have you ever noticed that every time you read about a horrible drunk driving accident the story always seems to report that the BAC of the drunk was almost out of sight? Over .15 in almost all cases, and often way higher than that. It’s hard to find a drunk driving accident involving a .08 driver. The reason is that .08 does not make most people dangerous to others on the road. They are not the problem drinkers. They are social drinkers who had a couple glasses of wine with dinner and would harm no one if allowed to simply proceed on their way. But they are caught by overzealous traffic enforcement pulling people over for minor violations such as a burnt out taillight in hopes of nailing them for a DUI.
The result of these misplaced priorities is that the problem of high BAC level drunk drivers is increasing and so are the horrendous accidents they cause. The sad truth of DUI laws in America is that the main objective is not getting drunks off the road but to get as many DUI convictions as possible. Hence, the impetus to push the legal BAC level even lower.
It ought always be borne in mind (though it seldom is) that over concentration on one target may result in missing others. Priorities matter.