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UPDATE: Transportation Safety Board Talks DUI Fatalities

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal accident investigators recommended Tuesday that states cut their threshold for drunken driving by nearly half, matching a standard that has substantially reduced highway deaths in other countries.

The National Transportation Safety Board said states should shrink the standard from the current .08 blood alcohol content to .05 as part of a series of recommendations aimed at reducing alcohol-related highway deaths.

More than 100 countries have adopted the .05 alcohol content standard or lower, according to a report by the board's staff. In Europe, the share of traffic deaths attributable to drunken driving was reduced by more than half within 10 years after the standard was dropped.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Transportation safety officials are exploring ways to eliminate drunken driving deaths, which account for about a third of the nation's more than 30,000 annual traffic fatalities -- a share that has remained stubbornly unchanged since the late-1990s.

The National Transportation Safety Board meets Tuesday to hear recommendations on ways to meet its goal of zero alcohol-related driving deaths.

Experts said at a two-day information-gathering forum the board held last year that dramatic progress was made in the 1980s through the mid-1990s after the minimum drinking age was raised to 21 and the legally allowable maximum level of drivers' blood alcohol content was lowered to .08.

But they said progress has largely stagnated over the last decade and a half, requiring a fresh approach.


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