4holer
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Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 5:46 pm

Saw this on cnn.com today.
I understand that DUI is a huge issue, but I don't think that the people between 0.05 and 0.08% are the cause of the gory tales that accompany these stories. And the cnn story mentions that 0.08% equals 4 drinks per hour per some website, which sounds like alot, but actually 2 beers can get you to 0.08. It seems a little extreme to me, but wanted to know what you all thought..
http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/14/us/nts...blood-alcohol/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
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aloges
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 5:51 pm

Quoting 4holer (Thread starter):
It seems a little extreme to me, but wanted to know what you all thought..

If you've drunk, you don't drive. That's all there is to it.
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):

Very true, but .08 is low enough to cover this.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 6:33 pm

While I used to be a nightly boozer, now I drink only occasionally (once every week or two), so alcohol affects me a bit more than it did before.

At my body weight, it would take 3 or 4 glasses of wine to get me to 0.08. I can promise you that if I've just slammed the better part of a whole bottle wine (a bottle typically holds 5 glasses), you would not want to let me anywhere near a wheel. I would definitely be tipsy, with poor motor control and reflexes to match.

For me, personally, I think 0.05 is perfectly legit. I know that some people can deal with it a lot better, but I would go on the side of caution on this.
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WestJet747
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 6:33 pm

I like the way my province does it. The BAC required for a DUI conviction is still 0.08, but you can still be charged with reckless driving and/or have your license taken away if you blow between 0.05-0.08.

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
If you've drunk, you don't drive. That's all there is to it.

But there are ways for alcohol to get into your system without actually having a beverage. It's necessary to quantify a point at which it is illegal, whatever level that is.
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BMI727
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 6:40 pm

Quoting 4holer (Thread starter):
I understand that DUI is a huge issue, but I don't think that the people between 0.05 and 0.08% are the cause of the gory tales that accompany these stories.

It doesn't really matter. If you seem impaired, you can be arrested even with a BAC below .08, just as if you were impaired with something other than alcohol. It just isn't a slam dunk case.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
It just isn't a slam dunk case

But that doesn't mean you should slam a case...

Sorry, couldn't help it...
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fr8mech
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 7:01 pm

I like .05.

If you can't go out to dinner and stay under .05, you, either don't need to be drinking or don't need to be driving.

Driving drunk is a choice.
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casinterest
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Tue May 14, 2013 9:11 pm

I wouldn't mind these targets, but it needs to be more relateable to people out drinking . There needs to be a quick simple otc test that people can choose to buy to help them make better decisions after drinking. For the most part, at my age, I don't go over the top when I am out, but it would be good to know in case I am having a bit too good of a time.
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RussianJet
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 12:29 am

Quoting casinterest (Reply 8):
There needs to be a quick simple otc test that people can choose to buy to help them make better decisions after drinking

There's really only the one sensible decision after drinking - any amount - and that's not to drive.
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casinterest
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 1:22 am

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 9):
There's really only the one sensible decision after drinking - any amount - and that's not to drive.

Ummm what about 1 ml ? I oz? I liter ? There are varying degrees of impairment and susceptibility. There is also a timeline of impairment. Everything is relative .
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seb146
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 4:07 am

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 2):
.08 is low enough to cover this

Not for everyone. Some people can blow a .08 and be just fine. Others can blow .03 and be kissing the canvas, as they say. I think the federal limit should be .05, but each state should be able to set their own limit and, at the same time, set their own limit for purchases of alcohol.

For example, California should be able to lower the BAC to .03 and lower the drinking age to 19 for California residents only while Nevada could set their BAC at .08 and keep their drinking age at 21.
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BMI727
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 4:36 am

I'm really kind of ambivalent about the idea. It would increase DUI convictions, but perhaps not get more dangerous drivers off the road. I doubt cops can lower their threshold of suspicion when observing drivers to account for the difference between .05 and .08.

If you cross the centerline or signal the wrong way and a cop stops you, he won't let you drive away if you blow a .06. You might not get convicted of a DUI, but you won't be driving away in that condition either.
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Okie
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 4:59 am

Quoting seb146 (Reply 11):
Not for everyone. Some people can blow a .08 and be just fine. Others can blow .03 and be kissing the canvas, as they say. I think the federal limit should be .05, but each state should be able to set their own limit and, at the same time, set their own limit for purchases of alcohol.

First of all I do not drink alcohol, and I agree mostly with your analogy.
The only problem I have is that a body can naturally produce .04 and never have a drink of alcohol.
That only leaves .01% tolerance. Now personally I would not trust a law officer that might have an agenda with a .01% tolerance but that is just me.
I can not speak for the people you know but the one I have known over the years that have been busted for DUI have always been well over the .08 mark so I just do not see where it is going to make much difference there.

States rights would be great, unfortunately the Federal Government controls drinking age and DUI limits by cutting off transportation funds for states that do no fall in line with their guidelines.

So right now I am fine with the .08 until I would have some evidence to convince me otherwise.

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MaverickM11
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 5:45 am

These levels always seem a bit arbitrary. Why not just require a device in cars that prevents it from starting if the driver is drunk? It could test you randomly, every time, or somewhere in between as it senses how often you try to drive drunk.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 7):
Driving drunk is a choice.

It is, but I don't think many people know what their limit is, nor could tell the difference between .04 and .05. I bet if you screened people leaving the average bar, most would be drunk and most would be driving.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 9):
There's really only the one sensible decision after drinking - any amount - and that's not to drive.

Good luck with that.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 5:56 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
It is, but I don't think many people know what their limit is, nor could tell the difference between .04 and .05. I bet if you screened people leaving the average bar, most would be drunk and most would be driving.

  

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
Good luck with that.

Precisely. I don't know many people who haven't gotten behind the wheel at one time or another after overindulging, myself included. It's not something I condone, but you're just never going to get 100% compliance with drinking and not driving.
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seb146
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 6:45 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
Why not just require a device in cars that prevents it from starting if the driver is drunk?

Some places have that and it is fine. For offenders. I don't mind if offenders have that device. However, if non-offenders want to drive, that is a different story.

Right this second, I have been drinking. I am home and not driving. Why should I pay $3000 more for my car when I am responsible? Many of us are responsible. Like gun owners. Not all of us are 5 years old. Not all of us have a record and buy at gun shows.
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MaverickM11
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 8:05 am

Quoting seb146 (Reply 16):

Some places have that and it is fine. For offenders. I don't mind if offenders have that device. However, if non-offenders want to drive, that is a different story.

That's fair, but ideally you stop the drunk driving before the driver becomes an 'offender', and these arbitrary changes in the BAC don't do much to that effect.

Quoting 4holer (Thread starter):
I don't think that the people between 0.05 and 0.08% are the cause of the gory tales that accompany these stories.

Also a lot of states won't penalize you if you're driving with a BAC below 0.08%, but will if you're below .08 and get into an accident, which seems like a little bit of double dealing: you're ok to drive, but you're not ok to get into an accident, even if it's 0.01. Makes you wonder how many DUI accidents weren't really DUI at all...
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ozglobal
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 8:34 am

This was a 1970's debate in Australia and they moved from 0.08 down to 0.05 in about 1979. The impact on reflexes between 0.05 and 0.08 rises EXPONENTIALLY, especially dangerous because you don't feel it happening. That's why most of EU, Australia and other have been on 0.05 for years or even many decades. The impact on road deaths was so marked no one could argue against it. I'm shocked this is being treated an an open issue in the US. It's not as if all the data is not available.
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rabenschlag
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 10:42 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
It is, but I don't think many people know what their limit is, nor could tell the difference between .04 and .05. I bet if you screened people leaving the average bar, most would be drunk and most would be driving.

This, in my view, is a strong argument in favor of a zero tolerance policy. People may have a hard time telling a .04 from a .06. But with .00 it's much easier.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 15):
Precisely. I don't know many people who haven't gotten behind the wheel at one time or another after overindulging, myself included. It's not something I condone, but you're just never going to get 100% compliance with drinking and not driving.

That's not an argument against a stricter policy. It's like saying: "well, there will be always people shooting other people, so let's get rid of the laws sanctioning murdering people".
 
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 11:04 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
I'm really kind of ambivalent about the idea. It would increase DUI convictions, but perhaps not get more dangerous drivers off the road.
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 18):
The impact on road deaths was so marked no one could argue against it. I'm shocked this is being treated an an open issue in the US. It's not as if all the data is not available.

The second statement is very interesting, because I agreed with the first until then. I would think that people who are severely impaired and choose to drive nevertheless have no idea what their BAC is to begin with (and obviously don't care), so I can't see how lowering the limit would encourage them to change their behavior.

But if there is a body of evidence to show that the lower limit does make a difference, perhaps over time thanks to easier DUI convictions as proposed above, then I can see myself being in favor of the lower limit.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 19):
But with .00 it's much easier.

It's impractical at best. There are medications, syrups and other ways to get above .00 unknowingly. It won't be "don't drink and drive," it will be "don't do anything and drive."
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fr8mech
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 11:16 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
It is, but I don't think many people know what their limit is, nor could tell the difference between .04 and .05.

They should learn their limits and what external things influence that limit.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 15):

Precisely. I don't know many people who haven't gotten behind the wheel at one time or another after overindulging, myself included. It's not something I condone, but you're just never going to get 100% compliance with drinking and not driving.

We don't have 100% compliance on the speed limit. You get caught, you get a ticket. Same thing with drinking and driving. Plenty of people get behind the wheel of a car, everyday, who have had just one too many and make it home safely everyday. Some of those folks even shake their heads when they get home and say "wow, maybe I shouldn't have driven".
Problem is, that even if you're driving just a little buzzed (one drink too many) you are impaired. Your reaction time is slowed. Your judgment may be just a little off. .05 is what? 1 1/2 drinks per hour.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
Why not just require a device in cars that prevents it from starting if the driver is drunk?

Only for those under a court order. I should not have to submit to such an invasion without having proven myself incapable of making that decision.
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MaverickM11
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 11:34 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 21):

They should learn their limits and what external things influence that limit.

That's a tall order. Everyone should floss and send their mother a card on mother's day but that ain't happening either.
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ozglobal
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 11:49 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 20):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 18):
The impact on road deaths was so marked no one could argue against it. I'm shocked this is being treated an an open issue in the US. It's not as if all the data is not available.

The second statement is very interesting, because I agreed with the first until then. I would think that people who are severely impaired and choose to drive nevertheless have no idea what their BAC is to begin with (and obviously don't care), so I can't see how lowering the limit would encourage them to change their behavior.

But if there is a body of evidence to show that the lower limit does make a difference, perhaps over time thanks to easier DUI convictions as proposed above, then I can see myself being in favor of the lower limit.

It has to be massively enforced and so it is in a lot of countries with a 0.05 limit. In Oz, it is a massive operation. Most Australians can count on being tested randomly at least twice a year. Here in France, I only drive on weekends and have been breathalysed 3 times in the past few years.
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blueflyer
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 12:00 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 23):
It has to be massively enforced and so it is in a lot of countries with a 0.05 limit.

Then we are screwed. By the nature of the position I have held well before the current one, I would drive home on days and hours when many others could be going home drunk, and I have not been randomly tested twice in my life! I have been stopped, asked about alcohol consumption, but not tested...
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fr8mech
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 12:01 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 22):
That's a tall order. Everyone should floss and send their mother a card on mother's day but that ain't happening either.

My not flossing or calling my mother does not have the potential of getting people killed.
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connies4ever
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 12:14 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
It doesn't really matter. If you seem impaired, you can be arrested even with a BAC below .08, just as if you were impaired with something other than alcohol. It just isn't a slam dunk case.
Quoting casinterest (Reply 10):
Ummm what about 1 ml ? I oz? I liter ? There are varying degrees of impairment and susceptibility. There is also a timeline of impairment. Everything is relative .

Agree with both the above. I'll likely get pilloried for it, but I think stay with the 0.08 for a conviction, 0.05 for a 24 hour suspension.

If you go to a hard 0.05, you will gut the hospitality industry and put tens of thousands out of work. Many will say that's putting jobs ahead of lives, but, know what ? We do that everyday. Mining, construction, to name a couple of areas.

A few years back, the Transportation Safety Council of Canada analysed accident data w.r.t. alcohol involvement. Yes, 90% of fatalities involved alcohol. Importantly, 90% of those accidents involved drivers with twice the legal limit, i.e., 0.16 or higher. At that point, they're staggering. Very poor reflexes, tunnel vision, etc.

It's also interesting to note that several tests have shown that cell phone use while driving causes as much impairment as driving at 0.08. Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8LuM92Twm8
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rabenschlag
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 12:30 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 20):
It's impractical at best. There are medications, syrups and other ways to get above .00 unknowingly. It won't be "don't drink and drive," it will be "don't do anything and drive."

I do not agree.

First, if a product contains enough alcohol to result in a measurable effect on BAC, it must be labelled as such. I think this is already the case, at least in Germany. Otherwise, people who are not allowed to ingest alcohol for medical reasons would be constantly at risk to get above .00 unknowingly. So, I suppose the consumer can always know that she is consuming alcohol.

Second, if a medical product indeed pushes your BAC above .00, one might consider not to drive or work with dangerous machinery while under the influence.
 
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 1:05 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 25):

My not flossing or calling my mother does not have the potential of getting people killed.

Or speeding, or smoking, or trying meth, or any number of any things--take your pick. If humans were as rational as you think should be and made choices based on future consequences, we wouldn't have a fraction of the problems we do.
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RussianJet
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 1:33 pm

Quoting casinterest (Reply 10):
Ummm what about 1 ml ? I oz? I liter ? There are varying degrees of impairment and susceptibility. There is also a timeline of impairment. Everything is relative .

If the limit is very low indeed, then it should be able to account for inadvertent amounts of alcohol cough syrup or whatever, though the fact is labeling on such products should allow someone to decide whether it's likely to cause problems.

But what you say, about varying degrees of impairment etc, and how one might get there, really hits the nail on the head. There is no such thing as 'one beer' or 'two beers' will take you over - people process differently and can tolerate differing amounts. Therefore, the ONLY safe thing to do is never drive after alcohol. As far as the timeline goes, if you drank a significant amount then you don't drive the next day either. It's not rocket science. The relative differences you refer to are a more of a reason to not drink at all, not less.
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fr8mech
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 2:19 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 28):
Or speeding, or smoking, or trying meth, or any number of any things--take your pick. If humans were as rational as you think should be and made choices based on future consequences, we wouldn't have a fraction of the problems we do.

But we do have standards for those and we do cite, arrest and/or prosecute when necessary. I know what the speed limit is, I know it's illegal to manufacture, distribute and use meth, etc., etc., etc.

I'm simply saying that you should know the limit and know how it applies to you. What you do with that information is up to you.
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seb146
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 3:04 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 17):
you stop the drunk driving before the driver becomes an 'offender', and these arbitrary changes in the BAC don't do much to that effect.

It seems, these days, people are better at not driving under the influence. Many of my friends will not drive after having one or two drinks. So, I think lowering the BAC will have little impact.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 17):
Also a lot of states won't penalize you if you're driving with a BAC below 0.08%, but will if you're below .08 and get into an accident,

That is strange. CA, WA, OR all have stiffer penalties for driving under the influence, even if BAC was under .08.
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casinterest
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 3:45 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 29):
The relative differences you refer to are a more of a reason to not drink at all, not less.

But then you get into a compare and contrast ratio of what impairment is. What about folks on the radio, or the folks taking pain meds , or the folks with allergies or a cold that have no medicine in their body but are impaired.

there is a certain degree of responsiveness and timeliness for alcohol. Your solution is much the same as don't swim , because you might drown.
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connies4ever
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 4:05 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 27):
First, if a product contains enough alcohol to result in a measurable effect on BAC, it must be labelled as such. I think this is already the case, at least in Germany. Otherwise, people who are not allowed to ingest alcohol for medical reasons would be constantly at risk to get above .00 unknowingly. So, I suppose the consumer can always know that she is consuming alcohol.

Not the case in Canada. Various OTC products contain alcohol, as well as mouthwash, and this is only noted in the fine print noting "Ingredients" on the back of the container.

Mouthwash you say ? My grandmother used Listerine (alcohol-based) and SWALLOWED the damn stuff. I think it was the alcohol.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 4:35 pm

It is all about making money. More convictions means more money for local and state governments.

Time and time again I hear about how distracted driving (text, talking on the phone, eating) is just as dangerous as drunk driving. So if it was really about saving lives the penalties would be just as stiff for those infractions as it is for drunk driving.

There are still prohibitionists out there and they are in the guise of anti drunk driving groups and their real purpose to to get people to stop drinking. They hide behind drunk driving because nobody likes drunk drivers.

A person killed by a person who was texting is just as dead as somebody who is killed by a drunk driver, but the drunk will face much stiff penalties. That is just stupid.

What about states were marijuana is legal? How will a driver be tested for his impairment while driving after smoking pot? Getting stoned is just as big of impairment as drinking when it comes to driving. If we want to stop impaired driving than driving under the influence of legal marijuana needs to be treated exactly the same as drinking and driving.

I am sure I'll hear the pot smokers say something like "weed doesn't impair your ability to drive" or " I driver better stoned because I am more focused" I have heard those excuses from pot smokers but it is just BS, because it slows down your reaction time.
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rabenschlag
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 4:50 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 34):
A person killed by a person who was texting is just as dead as somebody who is killed by a drunk driver, but the drunk will face much stiff penalties. That is just stupid.

Well, in Germany, texting is illegal, so is using the phone without a hands-free system. Drinking and driving is legal within limits. In other words, texting is more restricted than drinking. And rightly so, I think.

And I also agree regarding eating while driving. I think it is rather dangerous to consume full meals or drinking hot drinks while driving.

So, instead of saying "let's keep the drinking because we allow other dangerous stuff" I'd say "let's ban all the dangerous stuff".

[Edited 2013-05-15 09:52:21]
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 4:57 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 31):
That is strange. CA, WA, OR all have stiffer penalties for driving under the influence, even if BAC was under .08.

Really? What's the penalty for driving under the influence, under the limit?

Quoting seb146 (Reply 31):
It seems, these days, people are better at not driving under the influence. Many of my friends will not drive after having one or two drinks. So, I think lowering the BAC will have little impact.

Thankfully it seems to have become a real taboo, which is a good thing, plus cars have gotten much safer, and the two together have reduced injuries/deaths significantly. Just anecdotally, I see a lot of people asking 'are you ok to drive', responding 'yah', when no one is safe to drive, I assume.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 5:16 pm

Quoting casinterest (Reply 8):
I wouldn't mind these targets, but it needs to be more relateable to people out drinking . There needs to be a quick simple otc test that people can choose to buy to help them make better decisions after drinking. For the most part, at my age, I don't go over the top when I am out, but it would be good to know in case I am having a bit too good of a time.

Here a law was recently passed forcing people to have 2 breathalyser kits in their car, so that when you're out and have had alcohol you use one and can show it to authorities (who would still test you if suspicious).

Now the application is somewhat in limbo since those test kits are very inaccurate and don't like the hot nor the cold, so keeping them in the car is a bad idea.

In my opinion the most important thing is to have a plan beforehand, either a designated driver who will have one drink at most, go out using mass transit, sleep where you spend the night, etc. You should never go back to your car wondering if you have had too much to drink, because by that time you might not wonder and just take the car.

Quoting okie (Reply 13):
The only problem I have is that a body can naturally produce .04 and never have a drink of alcohol.

This argument is used here against those who'd like to lower the current 0,05 limit to 0,02 or something, so I guess for the current limit it's not a problem, and really I doubt that 0,04 number unless you have a really strange metabolism or have eaten strange things.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 5:21 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 36):
Really? What's the penalty for driving under the influence, under the limit?

That seems kind of dumb to me. Why have a limit at all if you still commit a crime if you are under it?

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 35):
So, instead of saying "let's keep the drinking because we allow other dangerous stuff" I'd say "let's ban all the dangerous stuff".

I agree with you. I just don't get the double standard. People always talk about throwing the book at drunk drivers, but people who do things that are just as dangerous don't fave a penalty as harsh or at all.

You can't text and drive in a lot of places, but the penalty isn't even close to a DUI. If both are just as dangerous than both need to have the same penalty. If tough DUI laws reduce drunk driving than tough distracted driving laws will reduce those kinds of wrecks.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 5:46 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 26):
Agree with both the above. I'll likely get pilloried for it, but I think stay with the 0.08 for a conviction, 0.05 for a 24 hour suspension.

My big point of skepticism is how this would change enforcement. Convictions are merely a deterrent. The goal isn't to convict drunk drivers, the goal is to keep them off the roads. So to that end, for the cop on patrol, how does he change his standards for who gets stopped for a suspected DUI and who doesn't if the threshold goes down? How different does a driver look at .05 versus .08?

I'm not convinced that lowering the threshold will make roads safer but might clog up the legal system with more DUI cases.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 7:08 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 11):

For example, California should be able to lower the BAC to .03 and lower the drinking age to 19 for California residents only while Nevada could set their BAC at .08 and keep their drinking age at 21.

We already have a hard enough time getting new residents to register their cars as it is. I don't think having more favorable rules in neighboring states will help with this one...

Quoting seb146 (Reply 11):
Others can blow .03 and be kissing the canvas, as they say.

Wow. I realize different folks have different tolerances, but isn't there a background of up to .02 sometimes? Seems pretty close to go from there to drunk with no median.

Quoting okie (Reply 13):
Now personally I would not trust a law officer that might have an agenda with a .01% tolerance but that is just me.

I know enough cops to know that there really aren't agendas here, at least not the way you're putting it. Mostly, the agenda is "I'm going to see how much of this shift I can not get out of this car."

DUI, DWI, OUI, etc all involve a lot of paperwork and time at the jail, and in many cases, you will make bail or get ROR'd before your arresting officer is done there. It's really not something they want to do anymore than you want to get busted.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
It is, but I don't think many people know what their limit is, nor could tell the difference between .04 and .05. I bet if you screened people leaving the average bar, most would be drunk and most would be driving.

I agree. I have no idea what my limit is, since I've never been tested, but I'm sure I could not tell you what .04, .06, etc "feel" like to me.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
Why not just require a device in cars that prevents it from starting if the driver is drunk? It could test you randomly, every time, or somewhere in between as it senses how often you try to drive drunk.

I'd be OK with this. Just write it off as a safety feature.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 21):
Only for those under a court order. I should not have to submit to such an invasion without having proven myself incapable of making that decision.

Do you feel the same about headlights? Brakes? Child safety seats? Liability Insurance? There are all kinds of rules out there that we have to live by if we want to drive, and given how dangerous this can be, there's no reason to be against any of it. When it comes to driving, you can submit to whatever the state tells you to. It's a privilege and if you can't respect that, you need to take the Bus.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 27):
First, if a product contains enough alcohol to result in a measurable effect on BAC, it must be labelled as such. I think this is already the case, at least in Germany.

We certainly do not have that rule, but it sounds like a good idea.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 34):
It is all about making money. More convictions means more money for local and state governments.

At times, I can see it like that too. But let's don't forget the legal cottage industry building up around it as well. I've heard of rates of up to $4500 for legal defense on this here, & wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 34):
Time and time again I hear about how distracted driving (text, talking on the phone, eating) is just as dangerous as drunk driving. So if it was really about saving lives the penalties would be just as stiff for those infractions as it is for drunk driving.

You hear right. That stuff is very dangerous and there should be a way to enforce this. I'm not sure how, but when methods for enforcement improve in reliability, I'd like to see this taken more seriously. As of now it is (in CA) only a $159 no pointer.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 34):
What about states were marijuana is legal? How will a driver be tested for his impairment while driving after smoking pot? Getting stoned is just as big of impairment as drinking when it comes to driving. If we want to stop impaired driving than driving under the influence of legal marijuana needs to be treated exactly the same as drinking and driving.

Since Pot is covered under DUI/DWI here and in a lot of other places, I'm guessing there are methods for detection, but I couldn't even begin to say what the levels of precision there are.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 34):
I am sure I'll hear the pot smokers say something like "weed doesn't impair your ability to drive" or " I driver better stoned because I am more focused"

You'd be amazed what folks will tell you when they're stoned.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 35):
Well, in Germany, texting is illegal, so is using the phone without a hands-free system. Drinking and driving is legal within limits. In other words, texting is more restricted than drinking. And rightly so, I think.

And that's a good thing. It should be like that here as well, since texting/driving likely has a much higher incidence of occurrence than DUI/DWI.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 35):
And I also agree regarding eating while driving. I think it is rather dangerous to consume full meals or drinking hot drinks while driving.

I remember (late 90's IIRC) shopping at a BMW dealership and asking the sales lady why there are no cupholders in these things. She said that even regular drinking was illegal or frowned upon in Germany and that BMW didn't see a need to make a separate version for export on that basis.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 38):
That seems kind of dumb to me. Why have a limit at all if you still commit a crime if you are under it?

I think the idea is to regulate the severity of the penalty.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 38):
People always talk about throwing the book at drunk drivers, but people who do things that are just as dangerous don't fave a penalty as harsh or at all.

I'd be fine with that! In my universe, there is a special place in hell for folks who pass on the right, ride brake all day, lane dive for an exit (since you know, going missed is sooooooooo hard!), operate vehicles in an unsafe condition, and probably a few other things I'm not catching just this second.

We need to take road safety seriously, and yes, it's both frightening and irritating how many folks don't.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 38):
You can't text and drive in a lot of places, but the penalty isn't even close to a DUI.

It needs to be. There's no question it has a serious effect on reaction times.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 7:11 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 26):
Agree with both the above. I'll likely get pilloried for it, but I think stay with the 0.08 for a conviction, 0.05 for a 24 hour suspension.

My big point of skepticism is how this would change enforcement. Convictions are merely a deterrent. The goal isn't to convict drunk drivers, the goal is to keep them off the roads. So to that end, for the cop on patrol, how does he change his standards for who gets stopped for a suspected DUI and who doesn't if the threshold goes down? How different does a driver look at .05 versus .08?

I'm not convinced that lowering the threshold will make roads safer but might clog up the legal system with more DUI cases.

Like I already explain above, in countries that are serious about this, you WILL be randomly tested several times per year on average. If you are in the habit driving over 0.05, you are likely to get busted. This achieves the aim you mention: massively raised awareness.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 7:13 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
My big point of skepticism is how this would change enforcement. Convictions are merely a deterrent. The goal isn't to convict drunk drivers, the goal is to keep them off the roads. So to that end, for the cop on patrol, how does he change his standards for who gets stopped for a suspected DUI and who doesn't if the threshold goes down? How different does a driver look at .05 versus .08?

I'm not convinced that lowering the threshold will make roads safer but might clog up the legal system with more DUI cases.

Of course, law enforcement officers can decide, based on a number of criteria, that a person is impaired. BAC, field sobriety test, erratic driving, etc. If an officer sees erratic driving, or a blown stop sign, he/she has reasonable cause to pull the driver over and inquire. Doesn't matter what the legal limit is. If a BAC comes back between 0.05 and 0.08, I'd say prudence indicates a 24 hr suspension. This is administrative, not criminal, therefore does not involve the courts. I don't think it really matters what the driver "looks" like. If the BAC comes in over 0.08, then it's a different matter indeed.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 7:28 pm

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 40):
I'd be OK with this. Just write it off as a safety feature.

Of course you would.   You want the government out of your bedroom, but get them out of the garage too.

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 40):
I remember (late 90's IIRC) shopping at a BMW dealership and asking the sales lady why there are no cupholders in these things. She said that even regular drinking was illegal or frowned upon in Germany and that BMW didn't see a need to make a separate version for export on that basis.

Porsche USA people apparently began sending large American drink cups back to Stuttgart with instructions telling the engineers that they need to accommodate them on new models.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 41):
Like I already explain above, in countries that are serious about this, you WILL be randomly tested several times per year on average.

That's a horrible plan. Checkpoints are exceptionally offensive to any notion of freedom. Police should only stop or detain people if they have reasonable suspicion that they've actually committed a crime.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 42):
Of course, law enforcement officers can decide, based on a number of criteria, that a person is impaired.

Exactly. So it has to be asked whether or not lowering the limit would result in more stops for suspected DUI, and correspondingly more drunks off the road.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 7:32 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
I'm really kind of ambivalent about the idea. It would increase DUI convictions, but perhaps not get more dangerous drivers off the road. I doubt cops can lower their threshold of suspicion when observing drivers to account for the difference between .05 and .08.

We actually agree on something???

Bottom line: I'd rather than DUI be based on some objective measures of IMPAIRMENT, rather than a number on a machine.

What matters is NOT how much blood there is in your alcohol system   but how IMPAIRED you are. It's IMPAIRMENT that causes accidents, be it alcohol, sleep deprivation, or drugs.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 7:37 pm

Quoting casinterest (Reply 32):
there is a certain degree of responsiveness and timeliness for alcohol. Your solution is much the same as don't swim , because you might drown.

No it's not. Driving is dangerous enough without alcohol. If you want to drink, don't plan to drive. There is nothing difficult or extreme about that. As for pain meds, they are not supposed to be for pleasure, but in any event should be not combined irresponsibly with driving. In the UK if you are found to be impaired then you can be charged.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 8:14 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
If you've drunk, you don't drive. That's all there is to it.

I never drive when I am drunk... at least not that I can remember....
Seriously, I do drive after having drinks, I don't drive drunk.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 4):
I like the way my province does it. The BAC required for a DUI conviction is still 0.08, but you can still be charged with reckless driving and/or have your license taken away if you blow between 0.05-0.08.

I have heard it called a "wet-reckless".

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
It doesn't really matter. If you seem impaired, you can be arrested even with a BAC below .08, just as if you were impaired with something other than alcohol. It just isn't a slam dunk case.

  

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 44):
Bottom line: I'd rather than DUI be based on some objective measures of IMPAIRMENT, rather than a number on a machine.

What matters is NOT how much blood there is in your alcohol system but how IMPAIRED you are. It's IMPAIRMENT that causes accidents, be it alcohol, sleep deprivation, or drugs.

  
Impairment is the issue, I do not see this random "target level" having any real meaning for people or doing anything to improve safety on the streets.

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ozglobal
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 8:18 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 41):
Like I already explain above, in countries that are serious about this, you WILL be randomly tested several times per year on average.

That's a horrible plan. Checkpoints are exceptionally offensive to any notion of freedom. Police should only stop or detain people if they have reasonable suspicion that they've actually committed a crime.

Then you will continue to live with what were 1970's rates of alcohol related road deaths in more proactive countries.

Funny, I find US domestic airport 'checkpoints' far more 'offensive to any notion of freedom.'
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 8:21 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 38):
That seems kind of dumb to me. Why have a limit at all if you still commit a crime if you are under it?

When I was growing up in NY, and learning to drive there, back in the 80's, there was driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI). I don't recall the thresholds, but there were different penalties.

Is this still the case in NY?

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 40):
Do you feel the same about headlights? Brakes? Child safety seats? Liability Insurance? There are all kinds of rules out there that we have to live by if we want to drive, and given how dangerous this can be, there's no reason to be against any of it. When it comes to driving, you can submit to whatever the state tells you to. It's a privilege and if you can't respect that, you need to take the Bus.

Fair enough. It is a privilege and not a right. I seem to recall making that point elsewhere myself.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 44):
Bottom line: I'd rather than DUI be based on some objective measures of IMPAIRMENT, rather than a number on a machine.

That would be nice, but is there really an objective measure of impairment that can be administered in the field, that can hold up in court without a scientific (breathalyzer) result?

Look, all .05 would do is catch more folks in the net. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be troublesome. What is we said .05 - .079 is considered "diminished ability to drive" and call it a moving violation?

I'll tell you, that working nights, sometimes I absolutely should not have been behind the wheel on the way home from work. My ability to drive was probably much more diminished then after a couple of beers.

Just saying.
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RE: Ntsb Wants To Lower DUI BAC To 0.05%. Thoughts?

Wed May 15, 2013 8:39 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 48):
That would be nice, but is there really an objective measure of impairment that can be administered in the field, that can hold up in court without a scientific (breathalyzer) result?

Yes. There are ways to do this objectively. It will require development, but it can be done.

The simplest is some sort of "video game" that tests reaction time and attention.
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