According to the National Transportation Safety Board, alcohol related traffic accidents cause nearly 10,000 deaths and 170,000 injuries every year.

"I believe some people still don't consider drunk driving to be a crime," said Doris Aiken, President of Remove Intoxicated Drivers.

Aiken has been the president of the organization since 1978. Remove Intoxicated Drivers supports the NTSB's recent recommendation to lower the blood alcohol level that determines when a driver is drunk from .08 to .05.

It's an idea many law enforcement agencies also support. In fact, the NTSB said nearly 800 lives could be saved every year if the new standard is adopted.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares said, ''If they do lower BAC to .05, do I anticipate greater traffic in our courts, absolutely, but I'd rather be in a courtroom than a funeral home.''

Officials with the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association were unavailable for comment. However, national trade groups have said that moving the BAC level would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior.

"At .05 most people will be impaired. So it's not criminalizing non-criminal behavior. It's finally putting a label on it that should have been there all along," noted Albany County Assistant District Attorney Mary Tanner-Richter.

Currently, all 50 states have a BAC level of .08. However, most countries in Europe and South America and Australia have set BAC levels at .05.

Aiken said, "I think we have to learn a lesson from other countries and get serious that drunk driving is a crime."

It took 21 years for every state to lower the BAC from .1 to .08. So the move from .08 to .05 could take some time, and it may never happen at all.

Source: Your News Now


Last updated on: 2013-08-16 | Link to this post