Laws come to be laws in Maryland and in other states for various reasons. One reason is the pressure from federal authorities that can come with strings attached, such as financing for states’ various needs. The National Traffic Safety Board, for example, comes out with safety recommendations related to the safety on the roadways.
Last week, the NTSB introduced its “most wanted” list of traffic safety changes that it believes, if enacted, would reduce the dangers on all U.S. roadways. One of the recommendations would make a big change to what’s become a widespread, well-understood legal limit in DUI cases.
Currently, the legal limit in Baltimore drunk driving cases is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. Maryland authorities might have discretion to charge someone with DUI who has a lower level, but generally, the 0.08 mark is the local as well as federal legal standard that can get someone arrested for driving drunk.
The NTSB suggests that the law be changed and that all states should reduce the BAC limit significantly, to 0.05 percent. That lower threshold would mean people could reach the legal limit more quickly if consuming alcohol and be more prone to getting arrested due to the belief that they are okay to drive.
As of now, this is just a safety suggestion, but suggestions can spin into serious legislative talks and work their way into states’ criminal laws. What do you think about the NTSB’s suggestion? Do you think it would put an unnecessary target on too many people who are able to drive safely?