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      Tougher drunken driving threshold recommended

      COLUMBIA (WACH/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.

      â??Most Americans think that weâ??ve solved the problem of impaired driving, but in fact, itâ??s still a national epidemic,â?? NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in a release. â??On average, every hour one person is killed and 20 more are injured.â??

      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.

      â??The research clearly shows that drivers with a BAC above 0.05 are impaired and at a significantly greater risk of being involved in a crash where someone is killed or injured,â?? said Hersman.

      You can read more about the board's recomendations in their report: Reaching Zero: Actions to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)