If this law were to be passed in California it would drastically increase the number of DUI arrests.
The NTSB claims that by reducing the legal limit from 0.08 down to 0.05 it would cut the deaths in DUI accidents by more than half. It cited in its report that more than 100 countries have adopted the 0.05 standard. The result has been that the share of traffic deaths related to drunk driving was reduced by more than half over a ten year period.
The problem with lowering the limit is the reality of how much alcohol needs to be in a person’s body for them to reach a .05 blood alcohol level.
Experts report than a woman who weights less than 120 pounds will reach .05 after just one drink. A man weighing up to 160 pounds will reach a 0.05 level after two drinks.
If you were to ask a woman who had consumed one drink if she was “under the influence” the answer would be NO in about 100% of cases. The same would be true if you ask a male if he felt he was “under the influence” after consuming only two drinks. What this means is every day thousands of California residents would get into their vehicles believing they were fine to drive, only to be pulled over and prosecuted for a DUI.
The impact of reducing the legal limit for a DUI must be studied very carefully. Nobody wants even one person to be injured or killed by a drunk driver. On the other hand it seems the impact of lowering the current blood alcohol level will make it extremely difficult for persons to consume even a small amount of alcohol and drive their vehicle.
Many would say we should err on the side of “caution” because if we can save lives by lowering the legal limit we should do so.
Others will say that reducing the limit to .05 will result in far too many unwarranted DUI arrests and convictions. The consequences of a DUI conviction in California are severe. The total cost of a DUI can exceed $20,000. Many people convicted of a DUI will lose their driving privilege and their employment.
Being charged for a DUI under the current situation is already daunting enough. However if you are facing a DUI charge, you do not have to handle it alone. The DUI attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been defending clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years. With offices all over Southern California, do not hesitate to call us at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.