Last week the National Transportation Safety Board called on North Carolina and the other states to dial back the blood-alcohol limit used by police and the courts to determine whether someone is too impaired to be allowed to drive. The NTSB recommends .05 percent, much more strict than the current DWI standard of .08 percent.
Is this a good idea? Does the current .08 standard protect dangerous drunks who shouldn't be allowed to drive? Would a change to .05 save lives and make everybody safer? Or would it go too far?
The New York Times aired a debate on this last week, with a handful of commentators offering pros and cons.
It turns out that .05 is the DWI standard enforced across most of Europe, most of Asia, most of South America, half of Africa, and Australia. The United States and Canada stand out as .08 outliers on this NTSB map.