Safety group is eyeing US BAC limits, suggesting harsher law
Do you think that the current 0.08 limit for DUI blood and breath tests is fair? Some might argue that they are not dangerously impaired at that level. That doesn’t matter, though. If law enforcement catches a driver at the legal limit, the driver will be charged and potentially convicted of DUI. A defendant can be left wondering how he wound up in the stressful situation.
If the National Transportation Safety Board has its way, more drivers might be left wondering how they became targets of a drunk driving investigation. As if the 0.08 blood alcohol content limit isn’t enough and doesn’t leave enough room for questioning, the NTSB might be on the brink of recommending that states impose a stricter limit of 0.05.
The group met earlier this week to discuss a change in the DUI law and its potential impact on deterring people from driving drunk. It is reportedly looking at laws in other countries and basing a possible future BAC limit suggestion on the idea that drunk driving is prevented with a lower tolerance level.
Some might be surprised to learn that MADD can’t even get behind the possible DUI change. Representatives worry that the effort, time and money that would go into enacting that stricter law would be better used toward different safe driving efforts like education programs and the increased use of ignition interlock devices.
Whether the BAC limit changes in Colorado or not, what remains the same is the chance that a breath test result is not necessarily the nail in the coffin of a drunk driving suspect’s case. Machines break. Officers make mistakes. An experienced DUI defense lawyer would challenge the validity of a testing device in order to protect the rights of his client.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor, “Drunk driving: Why is MADD among critics of lower alcohol limit?” Ryan Leonora Brown, May 15, 2013