Restaurants React to New BAC Recommendation



Restaurants and restaurant franchises feel the new suggested blood alcohol content level will negatively impact sales and end profits without significantly improving road safety for patrons.

The recommendation to change the current legal blood alcohol level came from the National Transportation Safety Board last week. The NTSB suggested that the states reduce the legal BAC level from the current level of 0.08% to 0.05%.

The average BAC level in fatal automobile accidents occurs when drivers are at twice the legal limit. Less than 1% of deaths occur when the driver’s blood alcohol content level is between 0.05 and 0.08.

One of the biggest arguments restaurants are making in opposition to the National Transportation Safety Board is alcohol’s ability to enhance food and the dining experience. In addition, alcoholic beverages are big ticket items for restaurants and are often marked up considerably more than food items. Despite this fact, recent years have seen sales drop in alcoholic beverage consumption as penalties for driving under the influence have become more strict.

While the National Transportation Safety Board cannot change laws outright but can influence future legislation, though it might take a generation or so.   A person’s blood alcohol content level depends greatly on height, weight and gender. Changing the legal drinking limit to 0.05% would mean an average-sized male could enjoy two alcoholic drinks. An average sized female could enjoy a single alcoholic drink, if not less.

What do you think? Do you think the BAC level should be changed from 0.08 to 0.05?