Numerous times in recent years, regulatory bodies and agencies have opined that the blood alcohol limit that all U.S. states abide by for drunk driving offenses — the 0.08 BAC limit — is too high, and that the limit should be lower in order to make roads safer. Most of these calls have been in relation to making the BAC limit 0.05. The National Transportation Safety Board has called for this change yet again, making it one of their “most wanted” changes for 2016.
Now, whether it actually happens or not has yet to be seen. It is not very likely that the change to a 0.05 BAC limit actually happens, given that past attempts or calls for this change were unsuccessful. Still, the mere possibility is noteworthy.
Consider this: under current laws, people who drive with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 aren’t necessarily breaking the law when they drive. It doesn’t take much to have a BAC in this range. A couple of drinks will do it. For many people who enjoy a drink or two, this would mean that a change in the law would specifically target them. It wouldn’t do anything to stop people who have very high BAC levels. Instead, it would put good people who simply have a drink or two (not uncommon for many people) at risk of becoming criminals.
That doesn’t seem like it would make streets that much safer. And given the cost — taking current law-abiding citizens and turning them into DUI offenders — the change seems unwarranted.
Source: Jalopnik, “The Feds Still Want States To Lower Their Drunk Driving Limits,” David Tracy, Jan. 15, 2016