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The NTSB wants drinking limit lowered to .05 for DUIs. Options · View
Buz
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:36:10 PM

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Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,798
Location: Atlanta, United States
The NTSB has recommended that the blood alcohol level in the USA be lowered to .05 for a driver to be charged with Driving Under the Influence. That would mean 2 drinks for a man 170 lbs or just 1 drink for a woman 120 lbs. and you would register as a drunk driver and be charged with DUI.

That seems too low to me. It used to be .10 then was lowered to the current level of .08. Lowering it to the level of .05 would certainly be culture shock in the USA. Nearly everyone would have to completely cut out any beer or wine at all with food during a nice dinner out if they were driving home. Doing so would put one in jeopardy for a DUI if pulled over by the police. Revenue craving municipalities would probably have police stake out restaurants where beer, wine and alcohol are served and pull over patrons leaving. Many already do.

On the other hand the NTSB believes it will lower alcohol related fatalities by 45%.

Here in the USA, do we overreact to alcohol? Our minimum drinking age is 21 years old, much higher than most of Europe.

Do you believe the NTSB's theory or not? How would lowering the level affect you?

Ruthie
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 9:13:56 PM

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Joined: 10/21/2010
Posts: 2,374
Location: United States
In my current state of paranoia, it just seems like another plot to raise revenue. They're not getting enough fines at .08 so they want to lower it to .05. The USA does have a problem with alcohol. It's that old Puritan thing I suppose. You're not supposed to enjoy yourself. People don't learn to drink properly because their parents don't teach them how. What's so magic about the age of 21? One night you can't drink, then the next you can get alcohol poisoning from chugging a litre of whiskey, completely legally.

There are things to consider before saying it's a good idea. I'd like to see the data that says cutting the limit to .05 would cut traffic fatalities by almost half. What do they base that on? It would certainly raise revenues though. Eventually, of course, no one would be able to go out to eat or drink without having to pay a hefty fine on the way home, and the restaurant and bar business would start to lose customers.

Wasn't the drinking age 18 in a lot of places before the Federal government threatened to cut off road money unless the states raised it to 21? Have lives been saved as a result? Did eighteen year old's just stop drinking? Did some of them use drugs because drugs are easier to get than fake ID's? Did some old geezers find it suddenly more profitable hanging around liquor stores and making buys for the under aged?

It's an ill wind that blows no good, they say.

Buz
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 9:29:06 PM

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Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,798
Location: Atlanta, United States
You are right Coops about the drinking age being raised from 18 to 21 though the federal government's use of threatening to take away highway funding etc. to states that didn't raise the age limit.

I liked what you said about parents teaching their kids how to drink. Did you realize that in the USA if a parent allows their teenager to drink alcohol that the parent can be charged with the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a child?

We the voters could change this if we got organized.

How often do we write or email our US Congressman, US Senator or the President? Its is easy to get their email address. Google their name and all the info is there. Let them know how you feel on this or any issue you care about.

elitfromnorth
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:14:26 PM

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Joined: 2/12/2012
Posts: 1,620
Location: Burrowed, Norway
I feel no sympathy for you at all. Not one bit. Over here you blow a red light just from having a two of those chocolate balls that have a hint of cognac in them. You're not allowed to drink anything and then get behind a wheel. Complete sobriety is the rule. People driving with alcohol in their blood immediately gets affected, even if it's just a little bit. One drink is enough, let alone two. I don't know the penalties for being a drunk driver in the US, but with a blood alcohol level of .08 you'll get 1 1/2 of your monthly wage in fine, a suspended sentence and have your licence revoked for at least one year.

And I really feel sorry for you if you can't go out and have a dinner with someone and not having to drink. Hell, if you have one glass of wine to the meal you can still drive legally!

And what will the result of this be? Less deaths. Thing is that very often those that are involved in accidents with alcohol in their blood not only injure themselves, but also others. One thing is swirling off the road and hitting a tree or a lamppost, but what about hitting another car or a pedestrian?

Or does it say somewhere in the constitution that you're allowed a certain amount of drinks before you get behind the wheel of a car?

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
ManInNewHampshire
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:28:12 AM

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Location: Under the radar, United States
If you have a CDL (Commercial Driver License) and you get stopped driving your personal car the limit is .04. If caught driving a vehicle requiring a CDL the limit is .02
Magical_felix
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:30:47 AM

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Location: California
And cab drivers across America rejoice.



LadyX
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 10:54:17 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
elitfromnorth wrote:

Or does it say somewhere in the constitution that you're allowed a certain amount of drinks before you get behind the wheel of a car?


Sadly, no. :( I looked and everything.

I read somewhere that when they lowered the limits from .10 to .08, there was very little effect afterward in terms of lives saved or accidents prevented. That said, I think having it at the .05 might sway certian drivers from drinking so much and/or getting out onto the road after doing so.

I've seen it suggested, and I wholeheartedly agree, that to really move the needle in terms of drunk driving, they need to provide incentives to not drive drunk. Potential punishment only goes so far, and whether it's .08, .05, or .01, people are going to roll the dice and drive anyway, since all they're trying to do is avoid trouble (and will almost always get away with it).

We can talk all we want about how safety of others should be reason enough, but the reality is that it's not enough. The girl that parked at the bar doesn't want to leave her car on the street to get ticketed. The guy doesn't want to leave his car in a bad neighborhood. Taxis are expensive. People don't want the embarrassment of showing up at home without the car ("I'm that drunk guy, apparently...") only to have to catch a ride the next morning to go get it.

There are things they can do that will help. The city can choose to waive parking tickets for those that choose to leave their cars instead of drive home in them. Restaurant and bar associations can pool resources and join forces with taxi companies to offer "safe ride home" discounts. Tow trucks in certain places have already teamed up with alcoholic beverage companies to provide free tows home, and it seems like it's in Budweiser's interest to see that alcohol doesn't get demonized in society any more than it already has. I'm sure other ideas could be put forward as well, but the fringe benefit of these things might be that it wouldn't be so uncool to choose not to drive home. Sure, roll your eyes...but this is America we're talking about LOL. We'll sacrifice a lot as a people to not self-identify as losers and outsiders. Familiar with the phrases "can't handle his liquor" or "lightweight"? This is what I'm talking about, at least in part.

When a city wants a once-vibrant neighborhood redeveloped, what do they do? Do they lay guilt trips on developers and tell them that it's in the best interest of the city to develop in a certain place? Or do they offer tax breaks, regulatory incentives, and other treats to entice them? It's something to think about.
Tranquil
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:39:24 AM

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I think anyone who has lost someone due to alcohol in the blood while behind the wheel would agree that even one drink is far to much. It is everyone whos lives that shares the road with you that you are effecting. Not to mention the families that have to pick up the tab.

Drink and drive no matter how innocent is a selfish act. Same with drugs be it prescription or otherwise.

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Jack_42
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 1:00:57 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/21/2009
Posts: 986
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
In the UK the rather enigmatic rules are as follows
There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, but it is impossible to say exactly how many drinks this equals - it is different for each person. The legal alcohol limit for drivers in the UK is:
35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
It’s not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit. There are strict drink driving penalties if you are caught over the limit.

The way alcohol affects you depends on: your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)
the type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking what you’ve eaten recently your stress levels at the time.

In the Czech Republic where I now live the tolerance for alcohol is zero. As a driver and as a drinker I feel I agree with the Czech one and am bewildered by the UK one. Though I have seen breath testers available in UK service stations which seems a good idea.

However I do find the drinking and sex laws of the US rather bewildering although the UK ones on the legal age for sex seem weird (16) as having a baby in my mind is much more important than voting for some lying son of a bitch politician (18) or having a drink (18). So I feel that they should make their minds up and raise or lower the limit so that they all match. Personally I favour lowering the voting and drinking age as I don't know of anyone who didn't drink underage and most 16 year olds I feel are well informed enough to choose some lying charlatan to represent them.



seeker4
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 1:02:36 PM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 10/17/2012
Posts: 3,479
Location: Gone walkabout, Canada
Up here in the Great White North, you can be criminally charged at .08 (that's under the Criminal Code, which is federal law). In addition, several provinces, including Ontario where I live, have introduced Highway Traffic Act sanctions like license suspensions at the .05 level. You don't get a criminal record but it does go on your driving record so it can drive up your insurance premiums. I'm all for it myself. I'd rather have the people who take the risks pay the higher premiums than have the costs of paying out on their accidents drive up all of our premiums.

Bias alert: I am a casual drinker (ie. a glass of wine or a finger or two of scotch once in a blue moon) and if I do drink at a party or dinner or something, my wife (who doesn't drink) drives so raising or lowering the blood alcohol limit has minimal to no impact on me directly.



Its been a while but I finally got a new story out. Enjoy!

Satisfaction in the Park
LadyX
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013 6:56:14 AM

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Joined: 9/25/2009
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That was thoroughly entertaining. :) thanks!
Ardentmale
Posted: Monday, July 01, 2013 12:16:17 AM

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Location: Jersey Shore, United States
Anything that prevents even one death from drunk driving is a good move... I have seen enough of what drinking and driving can cause... Unfortunately there are those that will lose their license for whatever reason and continue to drive anyway...

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Jack_42
Posted: Monday, July 01, 2013 12:28:56 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/21/2009
Posts: 986
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Get a taxi or campaign for a decent public transport system (which would be even better in lots of ways including good for your heart.). That reminds me of when I visited the US (which I thought was very interesting and impressive) I was on foot and asked a guy where some shops were and his directions included ''driving only 3 blocks''. He automatically assummed I was driving because I think that's what all people in the US seem to do - drive everywhere. So if you must then to quote an old UK government slogan (which unfortunately we aren't allowed to have personal arsenals to get rid of) Don't Drink and Drive.
castlequeen
Posted: Monday, July 01, 2013 6:51:45 PM

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Joined: 4/24/2009
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I'm all for it. Without going into too much detail, part of my work is dealing with people who have suffered some pretty terrible things, and there's a fair amount of them that alcohol was involved in. I'm fine with .05 or I'd even be fine with ZERO tolerance. In Washington State here, if you're under 21, it's zero and instant loss of license for a good long time, it just ISN'T worth it! If hubby wants some wine with dinner or a beer, I'm dd, if I want a glass of wine, he's dd. No big deal. You don't need to be plastered to have a good time.

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Guest
Posted: Monday, July 01, 2013 7:07:34 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,127
Good. No...GREAT. If you think differently I invite you to work in ER for a short while. If that doesn't change your mind and Superman mentality...nothing will.
Ardentmale
Posted: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 9:44:49 PM

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Location: Jersey Shore, United States
Kristind wrote:
Good. No...GREAT. If you think differently I invite you to work in ER for a short while. If that doesn't change your mind and Superman mentality...nothing will.


Totally agree with you... Or come out to the scene with me... Or be the one who has to make notification to a family late at night...

characterized by intense feeling; passionate; fervent

Intensely devoted, eager, or enthusiastic; zealous

vehement; fierce burning, fiery, or hot
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