A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent is too high a legal limit for drunken driving arrests, according to a federal safety board aiming to toughen up existing standards.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted Tuesday to recommend that the threshold for a drunk driver to be arrested be lowered to 0.05 percent, reports The Hill.
The five-member board investigates accidents and issues recommendations on safety standards. NTSB recommendations are not binding, but indicate a changed federal position on the issue.
A report from the board's 2012 forum on eliminating drunken driving describes the shift. "The message there is 'don’t drive after drinking' rather than 'don’t drive drunk.'"
States that choose to adopt the new 0.05 percent limit would fall into line with many nations in Europe and Australia. Bloomberg reports that the number of people killed on U.S. roads rose 5.3 percent in 2012 to 34,080 following six consecutive years of decline.