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The DUI Breath Alcohol Per Se limit should not be lowered from .08

Lowering the legal limit should be rejecting as punishing social drinking; it would not have any impact on reducing serious DUI accidents as these are not being caused by individuals with breath test results under .08.


Fox40 points out that this proposition is not new. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been proposing this sort of thing for years. Frank Harris, who is heavily involved in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), explains that they are just trying to increase the safety of the roads and decrease the amount of people who are hurt by drunk drivers.

No one should drive beyond a point of impairment, that is for sure. It is not to say that people who knowingly put the risk of others and themselves should be punished. However, these people are making their own judgement calls. The BAC limit now (.08) is the appropriate limit, and most people will pass this after two drinks. It is inevitable that people will drive if they feel safe to drive.

MADD is focused on other things as well, that are more sensible in preventing people from driving drunk. These things include interlock devices that can identify when someone is too drunk to drive, and other technology that can help police to identify a drunk driver.

A Cincinnati News article also explained how there are many mixed reviews regarding this question of lowering the BAC. Some people, especially those who are close to someone who has been affected by a drunk driving accident, feel that lowering the BAC is a great idea to deter people from driving drunk. Others explain how lowering the BAC limit makes it very difficult for the average person to be able to go out with family or friends and have a one, even two drinks over the course of a couple hours and be able to legally drive home.

I would not expect a lower BAC limit to pass and hope that it would not be a forced federal mandate.  The .08 BAC legal limit was essentially brought about as President Clinton tied highway funds to STate’s enacting a .08 BAC.  In my experience, there are very few accident cases involving alcohol with individuals that are under .08.  In fact, in my experience the number of clients that call the office to discuss their case and have a BAC of .06 or .07 is very small.  I would estimate that it would be about two out of every one hundred.  Lowering the BAC would not deter drunk driving and should be rejected as an attempt to change a law that does not need to be altered in the name of making drunk driving laws tougher.  While there are ways to enhance punishment for those who drink and driver, this law targets social drinking and should not pass.

If you are interested in reading more about issues regarding BAC levels, take a look at my blog post on the correlation between higher BAC levels among those who have had gastric bypasses.

You may also find more information about Drunk Driving by reviewing by website, which answers common issues with breath testing.

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