A restaurant trade association, the American Beverage Institute, attacked the main recommendation, saying the average woman reaches 0.05 percent BAC after consuming one drink. The group said it based that conclusion on a chart it said was used by auto safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
But NHTSA told CNN on Tuesday it no longer uses that chart "as there are many variables" that contribute to an individual's level of intoxication. A new NHTSA chart shows a person with a 0.05 BAC level experiences "reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, (and) reduced response to emergency driving situations."
A beer industry trade group said it would examine NTSB's recommendation for lowering the blood-alcohol threshold.
"However, we strongly encourage policymakers to direct their efforts where we know we can get results: by focusing on repeat offenders and increasing penalties on those with BAC of (0.15) or more," said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute.
The safety board also recommend that NHTSA provide financial incentives to states to carry out the changes.
NHTSA, which oversees highway safety as a federal regulator and analyzes traffic crash data, said it would work with any state that wants to pursue a lower BAC standard to "gather further information on that approach."
At Tuesday's meeting, the safety board also championed laws allowing police to confiscate a motorist's license at the time of arrest if the driver exceeds a BAC limit, or refuses to take the BAC test.
Some 40 states already use the administrative tool, which the NTSB believes is effective because it is swift and immediate.
And the board recommended more widespread use of passive alcohol sensors, which police can use to "sniff" the air during a traffic stop to determine the presence of alcohol.
The sensor is capable of detecting alcohol even in cases where the driver has attempted to disguise his breathe with gum or mints. If the sensor alerts, it is grounds for more thorough testing.
The NTSB recommended last December that states require ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders and said states should improve interlock compliance.
Tuesday's recommendations were timed to coincide with the deadliest alcohol-related crash in U.S. history. On May 14, 1988, a drunk driver drove his pickup the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Kentucky. The truck hit a school bus, killing 24 children and three adults. More than 30 others were hurt.