.05 BAC Efforts

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.05 BAC Efforts

Postby Redwinger » Tue May 14, 2013 3:30 pm

Looks like there is an effort underway to lower the U.S BAC from .08 to .05%.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/14/us/ntsb-b ... ?hpt=hp_t1

Most of Europe, as well as other nations, are currently at 0.05. The proponents claim that many, many lives will be saved, but I'm skeptical. I question when big numbers are bandied about. Did France and Germany experience a big drop in fatalities after the limit was lowered? How much of a factor, if any, was stepped up enforcement after the enactment?

No idea if this effort will be implemented, but the Feds have the $$$ to assure compliance by the various states.
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed May 15, 2013 1:43 am

I'm a bit skeptical of that myself.

I've gotta get a breathalyser one of these days. I'd like to see how I feel at 0.05. I've been at a measured 0.1 and that seemed pretty drunk, although that was a long time ago. (And in a controlled study rather than by the side of the road, thank you very much!)

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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Hoke » Wed May 15, 2013 2:00 am

Redwinger wrote:Looks like there is an effort underway to lower the U.S BAC from .08 to .05%.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/14/us/ntsb-b ... ?hpt=hp_t1

Most of Europe, as well as other nations, are currently at 0.05. The proponents claim that many, many lives will be saved, but I'm skeptical. I question when big numbers are bandied about. Did France and Germany experience a big drop in fatalities after the limit was lowered? How much of a factor, if any, was stepped up enforcement after the enactment?

No idea if this effort will be implemented, but the Feds have the $$$ to assure compliance by the various states.


Re Europe, other things to consider: the police and judges there are very enthusiastic in their apprehension, conviction and overall enforcement. The punishment tends to be firm and consistent and, by our standards sometimes almost draconian with very little leeway....I'm not saying that's a bad thing, mind you, but it is reality. It's even more so with young drivers. I had a friend who was hovering right around the alcohol level, and he lost his license for a year---and considered himself fortunate at that. You're quite likely to get busted if you're drinking and driving, and quite likely to suffer suspension, fines, etc., without much appeal. I think that, as much as the rigid .05 BAC, is why the alcohol laws are effective.

I'd also add in the constant ads in every medium warning against the consequences of drinking and driving---to the point that it is credited with being responsible for the rapid diminution of wine consumption.
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Fredrik L » Wed May 15, 2013 3:38 am

And in Sweden we of course have 0.2 and over 1.0 we not only lose our license, we are most likely to go to jail.

I remember speaking to Seppi Landmann, the winegrower from Alsace, about the fact that the French went from 0.8 to 0.5; he labelled it "une catastrophe nationale"...

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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed May 15, 2013 9:55 am

I wonder how many of the alcohol-related accidents are caused by people who are multiple DUI offenders? It's not uncommon to hear about someone involved in some horrible accident who has three or more arrests on their record, has had their license suspended, but who still drives. It may be that this is just how these things are reported in the media and that they're really not all that common, but it would be interesting to know. I tried a quick search to get such data but couldn't find any. I did find, though, that the NHTSA considers a fatal accident to be alcohol-related if anyone involved has 0.01 BAC or greater.

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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Robin Garr » Wed May 15, 2013 9:59 am

Granted that drunks kill, I have to think there is a little neo-prohibitionism going on here. If all policy were equal, wouldn't we be seeing more attention given to people driving while distracted by cell phones? I see far more dangerous driving in the age of the mobile phone than I ever saw during the age of the drunk.
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Alan Wolfe » Wed May 15, 2013 10:09 am

I think both Mike and Robin have good points. I recall reading someplace that most serious/fatal drunk driving incidents are caused by multiple offenders. That apparent fact gave rise to investigation into automobile ignition locks that had a breathalyzer of some kind in the ignition circuitry that would not let a drunk driver start his/her car. That this country has a strong prohibitionist streak is no secret. In my neighborhood, for example, for many it's understood that if one drinks at all, then one qualifies as a drunk. I think it's bible belt morality.
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Paul Winalski » Wed May 15, 2013 12:41 pm

Fredrik L wrote:And in Sweden we of course have 0.2 and over 1.0 we not only lose our license, we are most likely to go to jail.


I assume you mean 0.02 and 0.10. With a BAC of 1.0% you'd be well and truly dead.

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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed May 15, 2013 1:08 pm

In my neighborhood, for example, for many it's understood that if one drinks at all, then one qualifies as a drunk. I think it's bible belt morality.


Not necessarily Alan. I see that attitude right here in far Northern CA!
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Fredrik L » Wed May 15, 2013 1:12 pm

Sorry about that, we measure in per mille not in percent. 0.02 it is, but we did have one Scandinavian - a Finn by the way - the other year who survived a BAC of 1.1! :shock:

More than one percent of his blood was alcohol! (I am quite sure it was not Otto!)

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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Hoke » Wed May 15, 2013 1:26 pm

Today's Oregonian reported that WA just approved making DUI a felony offense after the fourth conviction. It had been fifth conviction previously. WTF?

Same paper has an article on the national effort. NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman was quoted as saying "Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable." That seems at first glance just standard bureaucratic air expulsion...but when you think about it, it can also be construed as totally draconian "zero tolerance" neo-Prohibitionism. Eliminate any consumption of alcohol and you eliminate the problem.
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Hoke » Wed May 15, 2013 1:28 pm

Fredrik L wrote:Sorry about that, we measure in per mille not in percent. 0.02 it is, but we did have one Scandinavian - a Finn by the way - the other year who survived a BAC of 1.1! :shock:

More than one percent of his blood was alcohol! (I am quite sure it was not Otto!)

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Those Finns practice constantly. And provided enough Musar, it could be Otto. :)
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 15, 2013 1:44 pm

It ends up having to be neo-prohibitionism because we do not have the public transport (or even taxi) infrastructure to support no driving.

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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Hoke » Wed May 15, 2013 2:17 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:It ends up having to be neo-prohibitionism because we do not have the public transport (or even taxi) infrastructure to support no driving.

A spit cup and a dump bucket are key equipment.


Since most people actually drink rather than taste, this advice isn't likely to help anyone but the most elevated of wine geeks, I'm afraid. Also doesn't address the incredibly massive effects on the economy of the food, hospitality and entertainment sectors, and doesn't even come close to the long term impacts of a depressed production industry and the concomitant loss of availability and choice.

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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 15, 2013 4:01 pm

Hoke wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:It ends up having to be neo-prohibitionism because we do not have the public transport (or even taxi) infrastructure to support no driving.

A spit cup and a dump bucket are key equipment.


Since most people actually drink rather than taste, this advice isn't likely to help anyone but the most elevated of wine geeks, I'm afraid. .


We care about non-elevated wine geeks? :shock:
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Sam Platt » Wed May 15, 2013 5:47 pm

The recent drunk driving fatalities on my area have involved drivers in excess of 0.2 BAC. I don't believe that dropping the legal limit from 0.08 to 0.05 will have ANY impact on such people. The proposed BAC max. reduction seems like a feel good move to me.

Trying to get a cab here in the hinterlands of Central Indiana is laughable. When I attempted to do so a few weeks ago I was told there would be a three hour wait!
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Brian K Miller » Wed May 15, 2013 9:27 pm

Sam Platt wrote:The recent drunk driving fatalities on my area have involved drivers in excess of 0.2 BAC. I don't believe that dropping the legal limit from 0.08 to 0.05 will have ANY impact on such people. The proposed BAC max. reduction seems like a feel good move to me.

Trying to get a cab here in the hinterlands of Central Indiana is laughable. When I attempted to do so a few weeks ago I was told there would be a three hour wait!


You would probably be sober by then? :?
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Robin Garr » Thu May 16, 2013 11:35 am

The Speck's Marvin Shanken has a short piece on this with an unexpected nuance - MADD is against it! - in today's Shanken News Daily. Since it's distributed freely, I assume it's okay to quote it here, with a link at the end for those who wish to subscribe (free).

Shanken News Daily wrote:Proposal To Reduce Legal Driving Limit To 0.05% BAC Attracts Wide-Ranging Opposition

The National Transportation Safety Board’s proposal for the legal limit for a driver’s blood-alcohol content to be reduced to 0.05% has attracted a torrent of criticism—both from likely and unlikely sources. Among those who have come out against the NTSB proposal are hospitality groups like the National Restaurant Association and the American Beverage Institute, both of whom claim that efforts against drunk driving should focus on chronic offenders with higher blood alcohol levels. But, in a surprising turn, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has also come out against the measure, saying it would likely take years to implement and that the reduction from the current 0.08% BAC threshold to 0.05% wouldn’t be as effective as the further use of technologies like the ignition interlock, a breathalyzer-like device installed on a car’s dashboard that requires drivers to prove their sobriety before allowing the vehicle to start.

For its part, the NTSB says that a driver with a BAC of 0.05% is 38% more likely to be in a crash as compared with a driver who hasn’t consumed any alcohol. By comparison, the safety board says a driver with a level of 0.08% is 169% more likely to be involved in a car accident than a completely sober driver. The NTSB also says that reducing the legal limit to 0.05% would put the U.S. on par with the global consensus on drunk driving, maintaining that more than 100 countries already have limits at or below 0.05%, including 25 of the 27 E.U. members. The NTSB can’t make law, but instead makes recommendations to both the federal and state governments. This recommendation will surely evoke further opposition from the hospitality industry, both at the local and national level.


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Is this thread in the right place?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu May 16, 2013 11:37 am

Should it be in the Wine Forum? Does anyone object if I move it?
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu May 16, 2013 11:40 am

Makes sense to move it to me.
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Robin Garr » Thu May 16, 2013 11:58 am

Okay, off to the wine talk department it goes! I'll leave a signpost from F&F.
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu May 16, 2013 1:32 pm

Robin - admittedly short on details, but this link states that MADD supports the proposal.

http://ripr.org/post/madd-supports-lowered-bac-05-idea
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Robin Garr » Thu May 16, 2013 1:32 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Robin - admittedly short on details, but this link states that MADD supports the proposal.

http://ripr.org/post/madd-supports-lowered-bac-05-idea

Meaning that Marvin was wrong? :roll:
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Re: .05 BAC Efforts

Postby Robin Garr » Thu May 16, 2013 1:33 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Robin - admittedly short on details, but this link states that MADD supports the proposal.

http://ripr.org/post/madd-supports-lowered-bac-05-idea

Meaning that Marvin was wrong? :roll:

Oh, I think I see it. Marvin was talking about either the national MADD organization or the California unit. This quote from a Rhode Island MADD person is apparently a state-level response. I expect they'll all get on one page before long.
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