Lowering The Legal Limit Not Probable

Despite a proposal by the National Transportation Safety Board asking states to yet again lower the legal limit for drunk driving, don’t expect any legislation on the issue in Indiana.

The NTSB said earlier this summer that deaths caused by drunk driving could be reduced if states lowered the .08 blood alcohol level again to .05 percent. In Indiana, the legally drunk BAC level dropped from .1 percent to .08 percent in 2001, but that change did not come easy and it took more than decade to achieve.

Reducing the legally drunk limit was one of approximately 20 recommendations the NTSD made. Also high on their list are the use of alcohol ignition interlock devices. Such devices require motorists to breathe into a device, much like a Breathalyzer, to determine their BAC. If the BAC is over the legal limit, the vehicle will not engage.

State Sen. Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) pushed for the .08 legal limit for more than 10 years. He told the Associated Press it would be “nearly impossible” to bring the level to .05 percent and added that he would not author any new legislation to promote it.

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