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Should the drunk driving limit be lowered?

Earlier this month, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that extends the current legal blood-alcohol content limit until 2018. The Michigan law, which made it illegal to drive with a BAC higher than .08 percent, was scheduled to expire later this year. The bill that Snyder signed extends the .08 standard through 2018.

The extension comes at somewhat of an interesting time because last week the National Transportation Safety Board actually recommended that states lower the standard to .05 percent. It remains to be seen whether Michigan or any other states will respond by lowering their limits.

Every state has maintained the .08 percent limit since at least the early 2000s when the federal government pledged to take away federal highway funding from states that had higher limits.

Now, in an effort to prevent dangerous drunk driving car accidents, the federal agency is recommending lowering the limit even further.

According to the American Beverage Institute, the average woman reaches .05 percent blood-alcohol content after just one drink. The average man would likely reach this threshold after two drinks.

The majority of developed countries do actually already have BAC limits of .05 percent, and the NTSB believes that lowering the standard in the U.S. would prevent drunk driving car accident fatalities and serious injuries.

Here in Michigan, the state is currently considering lowering its BAC standard for boat, ATV and snowmobile operators. That limit is set at .10 percent currently, and three bills that are currently making their way through the House would lower that to .08 percent.

Source: MLive.com, "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs .08 BAC drunk driving law as drunk boating bill advances," Jonathan Oosting, May 9, 2013

Source: USA Today, "Make DUI limit 0.05% blood-alcohol level, NTSB says," Bart Jansen, May 14, 2013

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