US wants tougher drunk driving rule

The US government wants states to crack down more on people driving under the influence of alcohol by lowering the permitted blood-alcohol limit.

It is now at 0.8 gram of alcohol per liter of blood. The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday it should come down to 0.5. That would put the US in line with most other countries in the world.

The NTSB said research has found that with a level of 0.5 most drivers experience a decline in both cognitive and visual functions, significantly increasing the risk of a serious crash.

More than 100 countries in six continents limit the blood-alcohol content level to 0.5, the board said. It wants the 50 American to follow their example.

"Most Americans think that we've solved the problem of impaired , but in fact, it's still a national epidemic," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said.

"Each year in the United States, nearly 10,000 people are killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers and more than 173,000 are injured," the NTSB said in a statement.

It added: "Since the mid-1990s, even as total highway fatalities have fallen, the proportion of deaths from accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver has remained constant at around 30 percent. In the last 30 years, nearly 440,000 people have died in related crashes."

Related Stories

Alcohol causes a quarter of Europe road deaths

date Dec 15, 2012

Alcohol abuse is responsible for around a quarter of the 30,000 people who die in road accidents across the European Union every year, the bloc's drugs agency said in a report published on Friday.

Dutch to unveil alcohol immobilisers in cars

date Oct 05, 2011

Drivers caught from December with a blood alcohol content of more than 1.3 grammes per litre will be forced to have breathalyser immobilisers in their cars, the Dutch Infrastructure Ministry said Wednesday.

US drivers talk and text as much as ever

date Apr 05, 2013

Americans are using cellphones and other gadgets behind the wheel as much as ever, despite widespread awareness of the risks involved, a federal government agency said Friday.

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

date Jul 03, 2015

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date Jul 03, 2015

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.