Federal Government Wants to Lower the Legal Limit to 0.05

Recently the federal government has said one of its goals for the upcoming year will be to have states change their DUI laws to have the drinking and driving law level reduced from a .08 to a .05.

It should be noted that studies have shown that everyone is impaired at a .10, most are impaired at a .08 and people can be impaired at a .05. And that most states define impaired as not being able to drive with the care of a sober driver. The advocates for this plan are going to argue that it can limit crashes, if no one drinks and drives crashes can go down. Also that there can be impairment at a .05, whether its mental impairment affecting decision making or physical impairment affecting reaction time, impairment can be there, and any impairment while driving a vehicle is dangerous.

The federal government has cited crash statistics but even this statistics they admit are not perfect. What a lot of people don’t know is that these statistics don’t always look at drunk driving scenarios but instead they look at “alcohol related accidents”. When an accident is cited as “alcohol related” that does not mean a driver was under the influence of alcohol. That just means that alcohol was involved somehow in the accident. It could mean a pedestrian that was hit was under the influence, or a passenger in the car was drinking alcohol or someone else close to it.

In contrast most criminal defense attorneys would argue that not everyone is impaired at this point. So essentially someone can be convicted for driving at this level when the alcohol is not affecting him or her at all.
People often ask the question to Ozols Law Firm how much alcohol does it take to get to a .05 or even a .08. This is a misconception to a lot of people, and inaccurate reporting has caused people to drink a lot more than they should. Standard science calculating the height and weight of a person, their absorption rate and their elimination rate show that for the majority of people 1-2 drinks within an hour will get you to a .05. Even someone 200 pounds and up can be at a .05 after two drinks within an hour. If we are purely looking at safety then we need to balance the idea that someone may only be able to have 1 drink within an hour and drive putting a lot of people at risk of a conviction.
The legal limit should not be lowered. At Ozols Law Firm our criminal defense lawyers have defended hundreds of DUIs in San Diego and have just recently obtained a not guilty verdict on all charges. If you are charged with a DUI feel free to reach out for a free consulation.