On May 14, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the states reduce the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration in DUI cases by more than a third, from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.
The NTSB voted for a number of other recommendations, including a requirement that anyone convicted of driving drunk be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car. The ignition interlock device prevents cars from starting without the driver first providing an alcohol free breath test. Currently, in Florida the installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory for first offenders convicted of DUI who either had a BrAC in excess of .15% or who had a passenger in the car under the age of 18.
The recommendation to lower the legal BrAC limit is not without opposition. Sarah Longwell, the managing director at the American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association, mocked the idea. “Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior,” she said. And “further restriction of moderate consumption of alcohol by responsible adults prior to driving does nothing to stop hard-core drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.”