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All Press Releases for January 10, 2014 »
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Is it a good idea to lower the national legal blood alcohol content level?

The NHTSA recommends lowering the legal limit from .08 to .05.
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    January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- DUI laws exist to protect people, including drunk drivers themselves, from being hurt by drinking and driving. Currently, the legal blood alcohol content level is 0.08 percent, a level which many people say is fair and reasonable. However, recently the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all states should lower their legal limits to 0.05 percent, says ABC Local. Since there were 774 traffic fatalities involving alcohol and 104,345 DUI arrests in California in 2011, according to The Century Council, some people might say reducing the limit could prevent further drunk driving accidents. But there are many who oppose the suggestion, saying that it unfairly targets people who drink moderately, and aren't a danger on the roads.

Opposition to the change

The York Daily Record says that other countries that now have the 0.05 percent BAC law have experienced fewer drunk driving deaths during the past 10 years. However, drivers with blood alcohol levels under 0.08 percent only make up a small number of drivers involved in all fatal accidents, including those in which alcohol was not involved, says USA Today.

Even MADD isn't on board with the suggestion. The group says that the change wouldn't solve the problem of serious drunk driving in America. Instead, the president of MADD recommends that ignition interlock devices be required of everyone convicted of DUIs. Interlocks may actually be saving lives, since they've been shown to reduce the re-arrest rate of drunk drivers by two-thirds.

Installing an ignition interlock device for people convicted of drunk driving is already mandatory in Los Angeles, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. There are other tough penalties for those facing a DUI, including fines, driver's license suspension of four months and vehicle impoundment. Lowering the legal limit may cause people who previously had been drinking responsibly to be criminalized.

Lowering the BAC limit would hurt businesses and restaurants, and would be like returning to the Prohibition era, says one lobbyist. MADD says that efforts to change the legal drinking and driving limit would take up valuable time and resources, when the attention can instead be focused on better programs to prevent drunk driving.

When to contact an attorney

Those who are arrested on drunk driving charges are entitled to fair representation in court. An officer can still arrest anyone on suspicion of drunk driving no matter what the legal limit is. If you've been arrested for a DUI, contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney to help protect your rights. Depending on your charges and the circumstances surrounding your arrest, an attorney may be able to have some of your charges lessened or even dropped altogether.

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