Currently every state in the United States makes it illegal to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has voted to recommend that each state lower their BAC level from .08% to .05%.
The NTSB based their decision on several factors. The NTSB argued that around 10,000 people are killed each year in alcohol related accidents. The NTSB further argued that around 170,000 people are injured each year in alcohol related accidents. Based on these figures and other related research, the NTSB argues that nearly 1000 lives per year would be saved by decreasing the BAC level from .08% to .05%.
To put these BAC levels into perspective, the average woman has a BAC of .05% after consuming one alcoholic beverage. Most accidents, around 70%, are caused by heavy drinkers who actually have a BAC of .15% or higher.
Another consideration in regards to the prosecution of DUI’s is the studies that must now be performed. Currently all studies conducted on behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are based off the .08% BAC level. Every statistic touted by the prosecution and police officers in regards to the accuracy of the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing is based on a BAC level of .08%.
This will require taxpayers to fund new studies as well as funding the prosecution of those individuals who can be prosecuted under the new BAC level but not under the old BAC levels. This most likely will not be an issue for some time though. The last time the NTSB pushed for a reduction of BAC levels, it took 21 years for every state to make it illegal to have a .08% BAC.
This is another sign of the zealous nature of special interest groups and the government attempting to impede on those accused of DUI. If you are arrested for DUI in the Birmingham area, please call our DUI Attorneys at Parkman & White, LLC to discuss any possible issues with the Governments case.