Sunday, January 25, 2015

Will Standard BAC Limit Go Down to 0.05?

In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) proposed lowering the blood alcohol content to 0.05 to cut down the risk of DWI accidents. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the minds behind DWI law in the U.S., welcomes the development. The recommended BAC, however, still remains at 0.08.

The BAC limit used to be much higher. Back then people hadn't heard much of the dangers and consequences of "driving under the influence." Only a few studies delved into the cognitive effects of alcohol. Indiana took the lead by imposing a 0.15 presumptive limit in 1939; 16 years later, Minnesota followed.

"Presumptive limit" means law enforcement officers can presume a driver to be intoxicated. Of course, simple observations don't always work in every case. As evidence of DWI-related accidents mounted, lawmakers in many states began lowering the BAC to 0.10. Minnesota took the lead this time in 1967.

The NTSB's effort to lower the BAC further to 0.05 is apparently nothing new. A similar proposition was introduced to the House in 1989 but wasn’t approved. The 1990s saw a more serious push to lower the BAC to 0.08. MADD helped promote the need to lower the current BAC. If the push to lower the limit further becomes law in North Carolina, more people would no doubt need the help of a Raleigh lawyer for DWI cases.  

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