Lowering Drunk Driving Threshold Could Affect Texas More Than Other States
We do a lot of great things, and get so many things right, however driving while intoxicated is a pervasive problem in the United States. And Texas is a pretty big offender. This week, a scientific panel published a study, recommending that states significantly lower their drunken driving thresholds, a move they say will immediately begin saving lives - around 10,000 per year according to NOLA.com.
Specifically, they'd want a shift from the .08 policy brought down to .05 for every state. Currently only Utah has lowered the legal BAC to .05, which goes into effect December 30.
The U.S. government-commissioned, 489-page report by a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released Wednesday throws the weight of the scientific body behind lowering the blood-alcohol concentration threshold from 0.08 to 0.05. All states have 0.08 thresholds. A Utah law passed last year that lowers the state's threshold to 0.05 doesn't go into effect until Dec. 30.
This affects Texas more than a lot of other states as we have so many rural towns between our big cities - which already skews the percentage of drunk driving fatalities. NBC reports that in 2015, "48% of drunken driving fatalities occurred in rural areas".
The recommendation, which will likely draw opposition from alcohol, restaurant industries, and a lot of people - it is a compelling read. Click here to read it in it's entirety.
What do you think? Good idea or bad idea?