Federal transportation safety officials want Florida and the other 49 states to radically tighten the definition of drunk driving, and as justification they cite studies that show that even small amounts of alcohol can slightly impair drivers. But there’s little evidence that people who drink in moderation before driving pose an inordinate threat. On this long Memorial Day weekend, it’s worth remembering that the real danger continues to be people who drink in great excess before getting behind the wheel.
The National Transportation Safety Board made headlines this month with a report recommending that, among other things, the federal government induce the states to lower the permitted blood-alcohol levels by nearly 40 percent. Across the nation, states define drunk driving as driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent. The NTSB says that should be lowered to 0.05 percent. Many 130-pound women can reach that level with just two drinks in 90 minutes.
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