The National Transportation Safety Board today recommended that all 50 states lower the benchmark for determining when a driver is legally drunk from 0.08 blood-alcohol content to 0.05. The idea is part of an initiative to eliminate drunken driving, which accounts for about a third of all road deaths.
Lowering the rate to 0.05 would save about 500 to 800 lives every year, the safety board said.
The NTSB cannot mandate changes, but the agency is influential on matters of public safety.
Under current law, a 180-pound male typically will hit the 0.08 threshold after drinking four drinks in an hour, according to an online blood alcohol calculator published by the University of Oklahoma.
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