Tougher Penalties on Drunk Drivers

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Federal Accident investigators recently recommended through the National Transportation and Safety Commission that states across America should lower the threshold for the legal limit of one’s blood alcohol while driving to .05.   In New York this would mean that the limit would be lowered from .08 to .05 in an attempt to decrease the amount of alcohol related deaths that occur every year.

Police Administering a Field Sobriety TestOver 100 countries in the world have already begun utilizing this lower blood alcohol content standard and it has found to produce positive results.  Sources in Europe have stated that the amount of deaths attributed to drunk driving have been cut by more than half over the past decade.

On average drunk driving is responsible for close to 1/3rd of the 30,000 deaths that occur annually in traffic related accidents in America.  The National Transportation and Safety Commission stressed the fact that alcohol related accidents and the numerous deaths that occur as a result are completely preventable and can be deterred with proper measures put into place.

The proposal will be met with some opposition as lowering the blood alcohol content to .08 is a drastic measure according to some.

Technologies Used To Deter Drunk Driving

One of the other suggestions made to curb drunk driving was the installation of ignition interlock devices.  These devices are very similar to Breathalyzer tests used by police to test suspected drunken drivers and they are usually installed in the vehicles of people who have been convicted of drunk driving.

However, it has been somewhat difficult to enforce the use of these devices by those who are court ordered to use them every time they operate a vehicle.  Many of those dedicated to this cause have recommended that the National Highway Safety Administration give safety grants to states to help enforce the use of this device on those convicted of drunk driving and as a condition of having ones license reinstated.

Newer technologies might potentially be made that could detect one’s blood alcohol content without the need for blowing into a tube.  A level that is over the limit would prevent the person from starting or ever operating their vehicle in an inebriated state.

Studies have demonstrated that about half of the 4 million drivers who drive while intoxicated successfully avoid detection by the police.  Technology has reached a point where designs for creating a passive or hidden detection device may be installed in vehicles to detect alcohol content and alert police to a potentially intoxicated driver.

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This post was written by Adam Rosenblum

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