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All Press Releases for December 06, 2013 »
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Washington state lawmakers open to lower legal limit suggestion

Washington will launch a pilot program to daily monitor people's alcohol content after a second conviction for drunk driving.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The topic of drunk driving has been on the minds of many Washington state lawmakers and, as a result, the state has been working on harsher penalties and tougher measures for people convicted of this offense. This year, the legislature focused their efforts on people convicted of a second DUI.

According to Oregon Live, Washington will launch a pilot program to daily monitor people's alcohol content after a second conviction for drunk driving. Second offenders will also be required to have ignition interlocks installed on their vehicles. The interlocks must be put in place five days after the DUI charge is filed. Legislators were hoping to get more measures passed and indicated that they will be working on more legislation for the 2014 session.

National recommendation for lower limit

Washington state has established the blood alcohol content level at 0.08. Anyone driving with that level or above is essentially driving while intoxicated. However, according to U.S. News the National Transportation Safety Board would like to see this limit lowered to 0.05. There is no word as to whether the U.S. Department of Transportation has endorsed the recommendation but the NTSB states that there are several reasons why states should lower the legal limit.

These reasons include:
- Provinces in Australia reported a drop in traffic fatalities after the country lowered the limit to 0.05.
- Studies reveal that up to four million Americans admit to driving after they have consumed alcohol.
- Some people show signs of being impaired in studies with a BAC of 0.07.
- Every year 10,000 people in the United States are killed in traffic accidents involving alcohol.
- Up to 1,000 lives could be saved if the limit was lowered to 0.05.
- Most countries in Europe and in South America have already lowered their BAC limit to 0.05.

While there appear to be several arguments in favor of lowering the legal limit, the American Beverage Institute points out that taking such a step would be unfair to people who already drink responsibly. The managing director of the ABI claims the proposal would do nothing to prevent people with high alcohol content from driving.

Washington state lawmakers open to changing the limit

Gov. Jay Inslee and other lawmakers have indicated that they are willing to consider changing Washington state's legal limit from 0.08 to 0.05. According to King 5 news a proposal was submitted earlier this year suggesting a lower limit for state residents but did not make it into the final bill package regarding drunk drivers. Lawmakers have indicated that it is quite possible they will consider a bill in 2014.

A DUI arrest and charge comes with a number of penalties and can present several challenges to a person's professional and personal life. Therefore it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney to ensure that a person's rights are protected.

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