10,000 people die every year as a result of drunk driving accidents, a statistic that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believes is unacceptable. In response to these statistics, the NTSB is recommending that the legal intoxication limit be lowered from .08 percent to .05 percent. They say this could reduce the amount of DUI deaths by up to 800 per year.
In 1980, the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths was approximately 20,000 which compelled reform to DUI laws. Limits of .15 percent BAC were imposed and, due to effort from various legislators and grassroots organizations such as MADD, the BAC limit was again reduced to .08 percent, a limit it has been at for over ten years now.
The federal safety advisors state that, while improvement is happening, it is happening at far too slow a pace. The NTSB is begging lawmakers to remember that thousands of people are people are falling victim to avoidable crashes annually. The NTSB is also suggesting other rules such as ignition interlock device (IID) requirement after just one DUI conviction and rules that would make it easier for police to confiscate driver's licenses for DUI offenders. These recommendations are all part of the NTSB's "Reaching Zero" campaign aimed at completely eradicating drunk driving in the United States.
No amount of new laws can guarantee zero drunk driving, but the NTSB suggests that these new laws could significantly reduce its occurrence. Most BAC calculator systems will tell you how many drinks you could consume in one hour before you have reached legal intoxication. Currently, a 180-pound man could consume four drinks in one hour to reach .08 percent BAC. Should the new limits be implemented, two or three drinks within one hour would be enough for a man this size to reach legal intoxication.
Be aware that various factors can influence BAC such as height, weight and even gender. BAC calculators are meant to be informative and serve as a guideline rather than a tried-and-true rule. The NTSB made comment that it believes DUI reform could be a long battle, but one in which they would eventually emerge victorious. How would these new DUI laws affect you?
If and when the new BAC limit is enforced, there will likely be an increase in the number of DUI arrests. It will take people some time to get used to the new limits. It may also be easier for drivers arrested for driving under the influence to lose their licenses. While The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson supports attempts to lower the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities, we will also continue to vigorously defend those who are charged with drunk driving offenses. Everyone deserves the right to fair representation. To learn more, contact an Atlanta DUI attorney at our firm today.