Buying one too many drinks might get a little costlier for South Carolina motorists if a leading federal government safety entity gets its way. The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that the legal blood-alcohol content for drivers be lowered from .08 percent to .05 percent.

Nearly 10,000 deaths every year are related to alcohol-impaired driving. The NTSB says the lower standard could save between 500 and 800 lives every year. The United States wouldn’t be the first to lower the limit. Most countries in the industrialized world already have the lower standard.

Tougher Penalties, Technology

In addition to tightening the standard, the NTSB wants:

  • Increased penalties for first and repeat offenders.
  • Greater police use of technology, including a “sniffing flashlight,” to detect alcohol odors on suspected drunk drivers.
  • Accelerated research into devices that can detect when a driver has been drinking and prevent a car from starting.

Driving under the influence is responsible for nearly a third of all crash fatalities in the United States. NTSB suggests those deaths and the 170,000 yearly injuries add up to a cost of $66 billion every year.

The National Transportation Safety Board has no authority to change the standard but can only recommend that each state make the change. Currently, every state, including South Carolina, is at the .08 percent standard. It took more than two decades for states to lower the blood alcohol content level from .1 percent to .08 percent.

Restaurant owners and the hospitality industry have expressed concerns that lowering the standard to .05 would needlessly criminalize persons who are acting responsibly.

Our South Carolina car accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm urge drivers to act responsibly and refrain from drinking and driving.

If you are hurt in a traffic crash caused by a drunk driver, you need an attorney who will handle your case with respect and care. To learn about your right to compensation for medical expenses and other costs, contact our personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm today.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

Recent Blog Post
Image of a woman clutching her neck after a car crash
How Often Do Car Accident Cases Go to Trial?

If you are considering filing a car accident claim, you may wonder if your case will go to trial. Most car accident cases never make it to trial, even if the parties move from an insurance claim to a personal…

Why Can’t I Use My Own Doctor on Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ compensation can help you recover lost wages and pay for causally related medical expenses if you are injured in a workplace accident. Knowing what to do if you suffer an injury on the job is vital to ensuring you…

surgery instruments
Workers’ Comp Settlement After Surgery

It is not unusual for an injury suffered in a job-site accident to require surgery. For most workers employed in South Carolina, the state’s workers’ compensation system should pay for surgery related to any injury suffered in a workplace accident….

3 Ways Trucking Companies Break the Law and Cause Crashes

The trucking industry forms the backbone of America’s freight transportation, with over 38.9 million vehicles moving over 72% of the nation’s freight in 2021. However, statistics compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also reveal accidents involving large…

Awards & Recognition
Media
CBS News
Fox
NBC
ABC