The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) recommendation to lower the legal blood alcohol content limit was met with skepticism, shock and trepidation. Essentially, the NTSB believed that public safety would be best served if the limit was reduced from .08 to .05. The theory behind the potential change is to bring the United States on par with many other industrialized nations that have strict alcohol use laws.
Also the risk of alcohol related accidents is ostensibly reduced when blood alcohol levels are lowered.
Despite the best intentions, a Colorado lawmaker is not certain if lowering the limit is the right thing for the state. State representative Dan Pabon (D-Denver) explained to CBS News, that it is worth having the conversation about whether lowering the BAC limit would have the public safety effect imagined by federal regulators.
The pushback by restaurant owners and hospitality venues was predictable. They believe the new standard would be bad for business. Under the proposed change, a 160 pound man would be legally drunk after two drinks, and a 120 pound woman would be intoxicated after one drink. Also, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has not given the idea its endorsement.
Colorado law already punishes drivers who are impaired by alcohol (or other illicit substances). While it is not charged as a misdemeanor DUI, operating a motor vehicle under the influence is a crime.
In the meantime, lowering the legal blood alcohol limit does not appear to be high on legislators’ agendas. For those arrested on suspicion of DUI or OAI, the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be invaluable.
Source: Denver.CBSLocal.com, Lawmaker not sure if lowering blood alcohol limit is right for Colorado, May 14, 2013