Experts Recommend Lowering The Drunk Driving Thresholds

A DUI check point in Anaheim, CA.

A panel of experts has just released recommendations that the threshold level for drunk driving be significantly reduced. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine group is urging states to reduce the level for DUIs and DWIs.  Right now the threshold is a .08 blood-alcohol concentration.  The experts recommend that it be lowered to  0.05.  

What does that mean in terms of consumption?  It depends on a lot of factors, especially weight.   The report says that is about two drinks for most women over 120 pounds or men who weigh up to 160 pounds.  For a man who weighs more than 180 pounds, that would be about three drinks.

The state of Utah has already passed a law which would lower the threshold to 0.05 starting at the end of 2018.  That law change brought a lot of opposition from the liquor industry.

It is worth noting that statistics appear to show that a reduction to  0.05 may produce a meaningful reduction in drinking-and-driving fatalities.  Analysis from the NHTSA government agency shows that the number of fatalities involving drivers had been drinking shows a significant drop off at the 0,05 level. 






What does this mean to companies?  If the change is enacted into law nationwide, it brings added pressure on companies to be careful about events where alcohol is served or allowing employees to consume alcohol on company time, because the laws will be a lot less forgiving.

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