The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended lowering the threshold for drunken driving to 0.05 blood-alcohol content across the country, saying it will reduce highway deaths.

Yet, it's interesting to note the organizations not supporting the proposal.

We're not talking about the American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association that called the idea "ludicrous."

This is an organization whose members make a living selling alcohol.

It's hardly unbiased, although it's managing director made a good point when she said lowering the threshold from 0.08 -- where it sits in all 50 states -- to 0.05 would target social drinkers and do nothing to stop "hard-core" drunk drivers.

Surprisingly, though, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers also is among the critics.

Jan Withers, president of MADD, told The Christian Science Monitor lowering the threshold is the wrong place to focus on curbing drunk driving.

She said the group prefers the government focus on other areas -- such as new technologies and better use of existing ones -- that could completely eliminate the problem.

MADD isn't opposed to the new threshold, but it isn't supporting it, either.

Under the proposed threshold, a woman weighing less than 120 pounds can reach 0.05 after just one drink over an hour or so, studies show. A man weighing up to 160 pounds reaches 0.05 after two drinks.


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That would criminalize a drink with dinner at a restaurant for a lot of people.

If it were the law, would police officers even be able to enforce it? And if they did, what would it do to our already overburdened court system?

C. Stephen Erni, executive director of the Pennsylvania DUI Association, said the proposed lower limit isn't about police officers making more arrests. It's meant to get drivers thinking before they get behind the wheel after a few drinks.

"I think it has to be a societal change," he said.

We agree.

But it seems efforts toward that end would be better spent on further raising awareness about drunken driving, rather than on a campaign to convince every state to change their laws.

And it could be a long campaign.

The Governors Highway Safety Association also does not support lowering the current 0.08 threshold, and, like MADD, favors other strategies to get drunk drivers off the road.

A spokesman for the group told USA Today he doesn't expect any state to go along with it.

Sobering thoughts to consider.