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Drunk driving restrictions may get even tougher

Most people may agree that it is important for law enforcement and legislatures to act in the interest of protecting the public’s safety. Though, people living in Connecticut and all throughout the country must take notice when measures intended to promote safety may actually infringe upon citizens’ rights. Unfortunately, this may be the case if certain changes are made to current federal drunk driving policies, as they could lead to innocent drivers facing criminal charges.

Most states and the federal government have set 0.08 as the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol level. That standard was established over 20 years ago; though, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now arguing that the limit is too high.

According to the NTSB, a driver’s blood alcohol level should not exceed 0.05. Lowering the threshold so severely essentially translates to implementing a zero-tolerance policy. Factoring in metabolism and weight, the new limit would prohibit many men from consuming two drinks, while some women couldn’t even have one.

In addition to suggesting resetting the national limit for blood alcohol content, the NTSB offered almost 20 other sanctions it would like to see approved. Another one of the agency’s priorities is to endorse the use of alcohol ignition interlock devices around the country. The NTSB has gone so far as to promote the development of technology for all vehicles that could monitor drivers’ alcohol levels constantly. Similarly, the organization recommends law enforcement relying on passive alcohol tests to detect drunk drivers that police may overlook.

However well intentioned, such measures may only serve to incriminate innocent drivers. Lowering the legal alcohol limit has the potential to put capable, responsible drivers on the wrong side of the law. And increasing authorities’ dependence on technology to test drivers increases the likelihood of false readings. 

Source: Source: foxnews.com, “One drink DUI? Feds want lower threshold for drunk driving,” May 14, 2013

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