Buzzed Driving Is NOT Drunk Driving
The National Transportation Safety Board recently stated that the current Blood Alcohol Level Content of .08 should be lowered to .05 in an effort to reduce the number of deaths in connection to impaired drivers.
And while the NTSB does not have the power to write or enforce new laws, they are charged by Congress “with investigating every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and significant accidents in other modes of transportation-railroad, highway, marine and pipeline,” according to their website.
The American Beverage Institute responded that lowering the BAC level to .05 as “ludicrous,”.
The group, which represents thousands of restaurants, stated the change would focus on responsible adults instead of binge drinkers who decide to drive.
Well, as a (moderately) responsible adult who’s on the wrong side of 30, I wholeheartedly agree with the American Beverage Institute that lowering the blood alcohol content level from .08 to .05 would indeed be absolutely ludicrous. I mean, if the were to actually happen, you might as well go ahead and never leave your house ever again.
What, does that seem like a bit of a stretch to you?
Well, it’s certainly not, if you think about what a .05 BAC level is equivalent to; one, or possibly two drinks depending on your size. In fact, when this story broke on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that a woman 120 pounds or less can reach .05 after one drink. That threshold would require two drinks for a man who weighs 160 pounds or more. See? And that’s the AP! They’re like, super legit and everything!
Anyway, if the BAC level is indeed lowered to .05, you can go ahead and forget about having those two beers that you were thinking of consuming over the course of playing 18 holes of golf with your dumb buddies. That’s because if you’re pulled over after said round of golf, guess what sir? You’re now legally drunk, even though you’re perfectly fine except for the fact you might have gotten too much sun today. Either way, off to jail you go.
Hey, and what about all those Christmas parties you were planning on attending this year? Yeah, you can forget about going to those, too. That’s because if you imbibed a glass of wine or two while making small talk with friends or family, and then you get stopped by a cop on your way home, guess what lady? YOU’RE LEGALLY DRUNK. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Now, give me your keys and get in the back of this cruiser while this tow truck comes and takes your car and your life crumbles right in front of you.
Look, this is all such garbage, and you can’t tell me that the impetus behind lowering the BAC from .08 to .05 is more about filling arrest quotas and making money for the U.S. justice system more than it is about “saving lives.”
Oh, and don’t try to shove that ridiculous scare tactic brought to us by the angry moms of MADD in my face as the reason why the NTSB is trying to make this change either.
You know the one. The one that tries to tell us that “Buzzed driving IS drunk driving.”
No, it most certainly isn’t.
First, let me start with the personal and get it out of the way. I don’t condone drunk driving, I don’t drive drunk. Well, anymore at least. I’m not proud of it, but I’ll at least admit that I was a selfish, stupid idiot throughout most of my 20′s, and there were more than a few times where I drove home absolutely bombed. Like, I’m talking with one hand over one eye kind of bombed because I couldn’t actually see straight. The kind of bombed that had me pulling into my driveway, and opening the door, and having my roommate finding me slumped over in the drivers seat with a pile of puke on the ground to my left, and him rightfully reading me the riot act. Again, this is nothing to be proud of, and my only excuse (as childish is it was) was that that I had to get home to sleep in my own comfy, toasty bed. See? I TOLD you I was an idiot. Nowadays, I’m lucky to live in an area where I pretty much never drive anywhere, so it’s not much of an issue. But if I go somewhere and I know I’m going to have to drive, say some dumb work related party or something, I would probably have only one drink, two at the most, depending on how many hours I’m going to be there. It’s fair to say that I err on the side of caution when it comes to drinking and driving, and mostly take a cab or walk.
But “buzzed driving” is “drunk driving”? And I’m “intoxicated” if I blow a .05 after I’ve been pulled over? Nope. Lies. If I’ve had 2 drinks over the course of 4 hours, I’m fine. Just like YOU’RE completely fine. If anything, those two drinks have made me MORE cognizant of how I’m SUPPOSED to be driving. I’m all “hands at two and ten” and doing the speed limit, which is how EVERYONE* is after they’ve had only one or two drinks when they’re out and just want to get home.
(Note* I didn’t survey, or talk to any other actual people in regards to this post. I’m just assuming.)
Not to mention, do we have actual data on how many “buzzed drivers” have ever been in or caused actual accidents? If I had to guess, I’m thinking that the number is something around ZERO.
No, where “buzzed drivers” get pinched, and would be getting porked at an even more alarming rate if the BAC level is taken down to .05 are at checkpoint stops. In other words, drivers with BACs at or near .08 simply aren’t drivers that are causing accidents. Instead, in most of the DWI accident cases I’ve ever read about, those that caused the accidents are HAMMERED with BAC’s at like .13 or something like that.
So brace yourselves people. If .05 is to become the new national standard when it comes to the blood alcohol content level, we’re ALL screwed, because that misleading witch hunt statement “buzzed driving IS drunk driving” will now mean you’ll never be able to enjoy a frosty mug of beer while enjoying your dinner. Because otherwise, you’re going to have to spend the entirety of that dinner wondering wether or not you’re going to end up in jail and having your life ruined if you’re pulled over by a cop on your way home.
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