Are you the kind of person who can meet-up with some friends, have a couple beers and then hit the road safely? While some cannot seem to rein-in their drinking and driving habits and pay dearly for their idiocy, many, many Americans are able to have a casual drink or two and drive home legally with a BAC of less than .08.
Still, the federal government asserts, that is not good enough. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), laws should be further restricted to a single drink.
The NTSB released its “most wanted list” this week- a list of government actions they would like to see implemented on a national level. The list includes a proposal to limit the legal blood-alcohol level from .08 to .05 (or even lower).
It also calls for making all cell phone usage illegal (even hands-free usage).
“When it comes to alcohol use, we know that impairment begins before a person’s BAC reaches 0.08 percent, the current legal limit in the United States,” the NTSB said. “In fact, by the time it reaches that level, the risk of a fatal crash has more than doubled. That is why states should lower BAC levels to 0.05— or even lower.”
The agency also admitted, however, “the amount consumed and crash risk is not well understood.” While admitting that they make these recommendations without fully understanding the situation, they also claimed, “We need more and better data to understand the scope of the problem and the effectiveness of countermeasures.”
“The NTSB has advocated that people should not drive impaired, whether that’s from alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications or illicit drugs,” a representative from the NTSB said. “We’ve pushed for states to reduce the threshold for DWI/DUI to 0.05 BAC or lower because research clearly shows that most people are impaired by the time they reach 0.05.”
During a press conference addressing the recommendations, Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the NTSB, took aim at cell phone usage as well, saying,
“Hands-free cell phone use causes cognitive distraction. We have recommended prohibiting all cell phone use, including hands-free, because a driver’s mind must be on the driving, just as their hands must be on the wheel.”
Presumably, people listening to the radio will still be a-okay and people eating and with dogs in their laps as they drive will be given a pass as well. But those people conducting their lives as they commute via Bluetooth technology, the federal government asserts, must be stopped!
“Since people have limited attention, each auxiliary task impairs our processing of the primary task. For safety-critical operations, distraction must be managed, even engineered, to ensure safe operations,” according to the recommendations.
“It will take a cultural change for drivers to understand that their safety depends on disconnecting from deadly distractions,” the board said. “In regulated transportation, the strict rules that already minimize the threat of distraction on paper must be embraced by every operator on every trip, and where we learn that distraction can be eliminated, reduced, or mitigated, regulators should act to do so.”
While drinking and driving is a crime and should be punishable, the federal government cannot fathom an existence where federal government intervention is not the solution to every societal woe. Though states are endowed with the alleged right of self-governance, the federal government routinely dangles the threat of loss of funds for states that do not comply with their heavy-handed proclamations. Thus, the absurd restrictions proposed by the federal government must be seen as having a likely effect on state governments who wish to remain in good standing with the extortionists in Washington.
The problem with bloated bureaucracy is that the system demands that wasteful departments justify their existence and expenditures of taxpayer money. This obliges bloated bureaucracies to “fix” problems by conjuring new, meddlesome rules and regulations as a means of justifying their existence. Meanwhile, government grows bigger, costlier, more complicated and ever-more intrusive.