In Ohio, of-age motorists are able to legally drive their cars with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08, as long as they're safely following the rules of the road. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sparked controversy across the U.S., by recently calling for states to lower their alcohol limit to 0.05.
While the NTSB proposal has ignited a national debate on drunk driving, alcohol-industry spokespeople question whether the proposal is the best solution for decreasing drunk driving crashes.
"We strongly encourage policymakers to direct their efforts where we know we can get results: by focusing on repeat offenders and increasing penalties on those with BAC of (0.15) or more," said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute.
While numerous studies have found that even modest amounts of alcohol can impact someone's ability to drive, McClain raises a point that needs a closer look: is lowering the BAC limit the best way to curb fatal drunk driving accidents?
As summer approaches - and the BBQs, festivals and concerns that come with it - Ohio drivers need to consume alcohol responsibly. The government can adjust limits and penalties, but the burden is on each motorist to ensure that he or she doesn't endanger the lives of others by taking the wheel after drinking too much.
We will keep an eye on the status of NTSB's proposed BAC limit, but remember that it's always best to use a designated driver when consuming alcohol.
Source: CNN.com, "Tougher Drunk-Driving Threshold Proposed To Reduce Traffic Deaths," Mike M. Ahlers, May 15, 2013