As our readers across Colorado and elsewhere know, the legal limit for behind-the-wheel intoxication in the state and nationally is a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08. Anything at or above that level as determined by a blow into a breathalyzer or a blood draw will instantly produce a major headache for a motorist.
We have noted the drawbacks in many prior posts. They range widely from prohibitively high fines and jacked-up insurance rates to license revocation, jail time and multiple other exactions.
How would that DUI-linked landscape change if authorities tossed the 0.08 threshold in lieu of a 0.05 standard?
It’s not hard to imagine. The thousands of Colorado motorists already being stopped on streets and freeways would be added to by thousands of additional drivers.
And this would result, too: Many drivers would be fearful of having even a single drink in social settings or outside their homes generally.
A recent federal government-sponsored report favors dropping the legal BAC limit to 0.05, alleging that doing so will materially reduce serious crashes across the country.
Not everyone thinks so. Indeed, some critics — including prominent voices within the alcohol beverage industry — claim that such a change would simply target already responsible drinkers in a selective and unfair way. They note that the majority of DUI crashes involve people who are repeat offenders and/or have BAC levels that are far higher than even the existing 0.08 standard.
Under a 0.05 threshold, it is possible for a female driver weighing less than 120 pounds to be adjudged legally drunk even after consuming a single alcohol beverage.