August 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- It can't be argued that DUI laws
have saved countless lives throughout the years. With the current legal blood alcohol level set to .08 percent in all 50 states, many people would say this is fair. However, the National Transportation Safety Board has recently recommended that states lower their drunken driving limit from .08 to .05 percent, says the Baltimore Sun. With 33 percent of Maryland's traffic fatalities in 2011 involving alcohol, a slight increase from the year before, some people would say this is a reasonable solution to prevent drunk driving accidents.
Arguments against the change
The NTSB says that other countries that have adopted the .05 percent BAC law have seen their drunk driving deaths reduced by at least half in the past ten years, according to the York Daily Record. But USA Today says that drivers with blood alcohol levels below .08 percent only make up a small amount of drivers involved in all fatal accidents (whether or not alcohol was involved).
MADD and others say the change wouldn't do very much to solve the problem of drunken driving in America. In fact, the president of MADD recommends requiring ignition interlock devices for those convicted of DUIs rather than changing the limit. Interlocks have been shown to lower the re-arrest rate of drunk drivers by two-thirds - compelling evidence that the technology may be saving lives.
Maryland DUI laws
Under the current BAC law of .08 percent, anyone guilty of a first-time DUI faces a fine of $1,000, up to a year in jail and license revocation, according to Maryland.gov. And DMV.org says a serious charge of DWI can cost a person $10,000. If the BAC limit is lowered, those who are currently not breaking any laws can be criminalized.
An Annapolis lobbyist says lowering the BAC limit would be like returning to the Prohibition era, and businesses and restaurants would be affected. Additionally, MADD claims that it took over 20 years to change the legal drinking and driving limit to .08 percent, so any further changes could also take a long time and shift the focus from better prevention programs.
Contacting a lawyer
For now, the legal blood alcohol content remains at .08 percent for all states. Anyone who is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Maryland faces severe penalties, and should contact an attorney with experience in drunk driving cases to help protect their rights.