Washington (WSYR-TV/ABC News) - The National Transportation Safety Board recommended Tuesday that the threshold for drunken driving be lowered from the current .08 blood alcohol content to .05.
The NTSB says that lower standard has been shown to substantially reduce highway deaths in other countries.
The agency said lowering the rate would save about 500 to 800 lives each year.
While the NTSB does not create regulations, it can influence policy.
In 2000, the federal government required that states enact a .08 BAC or lose federal highway construction funds.ABC News reports
that the American Beverage Institute called the recommendation "ludicrous" and the "latest attempt by traffic safety activist groups to expand the definition of 'drunk.'"