NTSB recommends lowering BAC limit could be decades away in N.J. and PA.
Regardless of a recommendation by NTSB that all 50 states decrease their standard for BAC level allowed for driving after drinking from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent, any changes to the thresholds will likely come slowly.
In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the current BAC level is 0.08 percent with which a person can drive legally. If history is any guide, it can remain on the books for decades and legislators in both states can propose bills to decrease the threshold at any time.
This week, the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) called for states to decrease the BAC level threshold for drunken driving to 0.05 percent. USA Today reported that last time the safety board recommended the change in 1982. The safety board pushed and encouraged the states to decrease their DUI standards from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent.
Utah and Oregon became the first states to decrease their standard limits next year. In some states, it took more than 20 years for the laws to change. In those states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are included. The law decreasing the standard BAC limit to 0.08 percent was signed in September 2003 in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey the laws were enacted in January 2004. The laws of all the 50 states had been changed by the end of 2004.
NTSB’s recommendation will probably not lead to quick changes said the Safety officials; they don’t expect the 0.05 percent limit to become law anytime soon.
A spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, Jonathan Adkins told the Associated Press earlier this week that “It was very difficult to get .08 in most states so lowering it again won’t be popular. The focus in the states is on high (blood alcohol content) offenders as well as repeat offenders. We expect the industry will also be very vocal about keeping the limit at .08”.