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All Press Releases for December 20, 2013 »
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Restaurants fear the impact of the NHTSA's new BAC level recommendation

it is illegal in Texas, and in all 50 states in the nation to drive with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08.
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    December 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization, Texas leads the nation in terms of drunk driving fatalities. In 2011, there were 1,213 alcohol-related deaths in the state. Right now, Texas has taken limited action to reduce the impact that drunk driving has on residents of the state. For example, according to MADD, while the state participates in no-refusal events and administrative license revocation, they do not utilize sobriety checkpoints and do not have interlock laws for first time DWI offenders.

Current BAC laws in the U.S.

Although Texas has taken limited action to prevent the deaths, injuries and occurrences of DWIs in the state, it is illegal in Texas, and in all 50 states in the nation to drive with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08, states the Governors Highway Safety Association. In Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation states that if a driver is caught with a BAC level above 0.08 they are subject to:
- A fine up to $2,000.
- Between a month and a year jail time.
- Loss of their driver's license for up to two years.
- An annual fee for three years to get their driver's license back.

These legal consequences are for first time offenders. If a driver is given a DWI multiple times, the consequences become more severe.

Debate over the NHTSA's new guideline

Recently, the National Highway Safety Board came out with a new recommendation that urges states to lower the legal BAC level for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05, states USA Today. Although researchers suggest that lowering the legal BAC limit could save anywhere from 500 to 1,000 lives on an annual basis, says the Chicago Tribune, opposition to this new guideline has surfaced.

For example, many restaurants are alarmed by this new recommendation. The managing director of the American Beverage Institute states that lowering the legal BAC level could have negative consequences on the restaurant industry and would ultimately deprive restaurant-goers of part of the enjoyment of eating out.

Another opponent of this new recommendation, the director of the Brewers Association, states that beer sales account for approximately 20 percent of a restaurants overall revenue and that wines and other spirits account for another 20. Lowering the legal BAC level would financially affect not only restaurants, but also bartenders, restaurant servers and alcohol suppliers.

Although industries and individuals, like those involved in the hospitality sector, are alarmed by this new recommendation, it is ultimately up to individual states to make the change, says the Huffington Post. The NHTSA originally recommended that the legal limit for BAC be 0.08 in 1982, and it wasn't until 2004 that all states adapted this guideline, says CNN.

It is easy to unknowingly have a few too many drinks and drive with a BAC level over 0.08. If you were given a DWI for driving under the influence of alcohol, contact an attorney in your area that can minimize the impact of this charge.

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