The South Carolina legislature, along with those of other states, has been advised to consider lowering current legal blood alcohol content limits from .08 percent to .05 percent by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB makes this recommendation as part of an overall plan to reduce drunk driving accidents and deaths. Currently, drunk driving charges can be made if drivers have a blood alcohol content equivalent to more than four drinks per hour for the average 180-pound man; the change would mean the same man might register as impaired after consuming only two beverages.
The controversial proposal comes about in an effort to stem the tide of injury and death associated with DUI accidents. Current statistics show that about one-third of all vehicle deaths are alcohol-related. The NTSB is also advising that police should be able to confiscate licenses of those who do not pass a field sobriety test when pulled over for drunk driving. These measures are seen as a way to make the roads safer, with the NTSB claiming that between 500 and 800 fatalities could be prevented each year if states adopt these measures.