In Canada, the legal blood-alcohol content limit for driving is a small 0.05 – enough to incriminate most men for “drunk” driving after consuming just two drinks.
Even in America, there’s some debate over whether someone with a 0.08 blood-alcohol content is truly drunk. Everyone tolerates alcohol differently; however, the line has to be drawn somewhere.
Many would suggest Canada’s definition is far too strict. Nonetheless, it may soon be coming to America.
As the Washington Free Beacon reports:
The National Transportation Safety Board wants to decrease the legal driving limit to one drink, lowering the legal limit on blood-alcohol content to 0.05 “or even lower.”“When it comes to alcohol use, we know that impairment begins before a person’s BAC reaches 0.08 percent, the current legal limit in the United States,” the agency said. “In fact, by the time it reaches that level, the risk of a fatal crash has more than doubled. That is why states should lower BAC levels to 0.05— or even lower.” The agency issued the recommendation while admitting that “the amount consumed and crash risk is not well understood.”
A 0.05 BAC level would reduce the number of drinks an average-weight man of 180 pounds could have to two, according to Blood Alcohol Calculator.
Women could only have one drink before they exceeded the limit. A 100-pound woman reaches .05 BAC with just one drink, but two drinks would put any woman under 220 pounds at or above the government’s desired limit.
Under the current level of 0.08, an average weight man can have four drinks until reaching the limit.
Nobody wants drunk drivers on the streets, but is this the answer — even as the NTSB acknowledges “the amount consumed and crash risk is not well understood”?
Already, the United States is among the most restrictive nations on this front, with a drinking age of 21 (something we only have in common with Muslim nations — go figure). Do we really need to make our laws more restrictive? What do y’all think of this?
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]