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Panel recommends lowering blood-alcohol limit to reduce drunk driving cases
In a move that is going to come a celebration for the road safety activists, a government panel, on Wednesday, recommended lowering the permissible blood-alcohol concentration limit for people behind the wheel.

If implemented, it could help in drastically bringing down the drunk driving cases in the United States and thus help save many lives.

In the United States, at present, the permissible alcohol level in blood while driving is 0.08 per cent and the panel has recommended that this should be brought down to 0.05 per cent. Not only does the report talk of bringing down the permissible alcohol level but it has also recommended that extra taxes be clubbed together with stricter restrictions on the purchase of alcohol to curb down the sales as well.

United States is one of the worst affected countries when it comes to drunk driving deaths with more than 10,000 such deaths occurring every year. The report has been published by a committee chaired by Steven Teutsch, an adjunct professor at the University of California.

In one of the innovative methods that might help in curbing down such deaths, the report has recommended that measures should be implemented to restrict sales of alcohol to people who are already drunk.

The report has based its recommendations on research that even though 0.08 per cent of BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is permissible in the country, the ability to control a motor vehicle starts deteriorating even with lower percentage of BAC. Terming the alcohol industry's self-regulation 'ineffective and insufficient', the panel has also recommended that regulations against advertising and marketing of alcohol should be strengthened.

The report also talks of ignition interlock - a system that prevents a car from turning on unless the levels of BAC are within the permissible limits. Many activists have supported such a system and pushed for such systems being incentivised in order to bring down the number of deaths resulting from drunk driving.

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