Right now, the legal blood-alcohol limit in the U.S. is .08%. You might not know this, but we're one of the last countries left where the limit is that HIGH. In most countries, the legal limit is .05%.
And now . . . it looks like there's a good chance we'll be dropping down to that level too. Yesterday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board announced a plan to get the legal limit lowered to .05%.
The rough rule-of-thumb for guessing whether you were at .08% was about one drink per hour. So .05% basically means you shouldn't drive if you've had ANYTHING to drink.
According to the NTSB, at .05%, you start having trouble with depth perception, and your risk of having an accident goes up by 39%. At .08%, your risk of an accident goes up more than 100%.
The NTSB thinks at least 1,000 lives would be saved every year by dropping the legal limit. But it would still be up to each individual state whether to drop their level from .08% to .05%.
Of course, if we REALLY wanted to get rid of drunk driving, we could do what they do in Bulgaria. On your first offense there, you get a mandatory PRISON SENTENCE. And not just for 24 hours . . . it can be months or years.