States urged to reduce illegal blood alcohol concentration level to 0.05

In Maricopa County and throughout the nation, drivers under the influence of alcohol pose a threat to themselves, passengers in their vehicle and other drivers on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three deaths that occur as a consequence of a vehicle accident involves alcohol in some way.

The NTSB's new recommendation

To reduce the number of fatalities and accidents caused by drunk driving, every state in the U.S. defines driving with a blood alcohol content level at 0.08 or above as a crime with penalties varying by state. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, individuals in Arizona that receive a DUI upon driving with a BAC above this level get their license suspended for 90 days upon a first offense.

This national standard for BAC was enacted by President Bill Clinton in 2000. To sway states to revert to this standard for BAC, the president enacted a law that prohibited states from receiving money for highway construction if they did not cater their laws to this figure, says The New York Times.

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board issued an announcement that encouraged states across the nation to reduce the legal limit for BAC from 0.08 to 0.05. Officials from the NTSB hope that this new restriction will place a limit on drinking and driving in the country and reduce the number of annual fatalities caused by drinking and driving every year.

Although the goal of this new recommendation by the NTSB is to reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities, there still remains opposition to this new guideline. For example, the director of the American Beverage Institute stated that if this new recommendation became law it would make responsible drinking behavior become a criminal offense.

Factors that contribute to BAC

There are a variety of different factors that contribute to a safe BAC level when driving. The ability to drive safely after drinking is due to:

  • The number of drinks a person had.
  • How fast they consumed their drinks.
  • Whether they are male or female.
  • How much a person weighs.
  • The amount of food they had in their stomach while drinking.

Because there are so many factors that contribute to a person's BAC, it is often difficult for a person to determine whether or not their BAC is at a legal limit before driving home. While this new recommendation by the NTSB may reduce alcohol-related fatalities, it may also cause responsible drinkers to be criminalized for their actions.

If you are being charged with a DUI for getting behind the wheel with a BAC that was 0.08 or higher, contact an attorney that will aggressively defend your legal rights.