NTSB Suggests Lowering Legal BAC Limit – How Low Can They Go?

By February 10, 2016Thomas Law Firm

Every year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) releases a Most Wanted list of its top 10 recommendations to improve transportation safety. While much of this year’s recommendations focus more on semi truck traffic (including preventing commercial truck driver alcohol and drug use) than the average commuter, the NTSB did suggest something that could make defending any driver accused of DUI a little bit more difficult – lowering the legal BAC limit from .08 to .05.

This is not the first time the NTSB has suggested this change. In 2013 and 2014, they asked for the same thing, but the request was mostly ignored.

.08 or .05 – What’s the Difference?

When it comes to measuring a person’s impairment due to alcohol, BAC is not the be-all-end-all measurement. Alcohol affects different people in different ways, and heavy consumers can develop alcohol tolerance which makes their BAC reading a bit less accurate in describing impairment. Different factors like body weight, gender and even height can reduce or increase impairment.

For the average 180-pound male over the course of an hour, the difference between .05 and .08 is one beer. But again, not everyone is “average” – and police do not need a .08 reading to arrest you for impaired driving. Even though the law is currently set at .08, if you show obvious signs of impairment and blow even a .05, you can still be arrested and charged with a variety of crimes, like DWAI – driving while ability impaired.

Our Denver drunk driving attorneys are client-focused and are not here to lecture – we just want to help you move past your DUI or DWAI charges.

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