The End of Wining and Dining: Will the BAC Be Lowered to .05 Percent?
Nationwide, the blood alcohol level (BAL) or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit has been set at .08 percent. This means that if you have a BAC of .08 percent or higher, you are legally intoxicated and it is unlawful for you to operate a motor vehicle. Currently, the regulation allows for two adults of average height and weight to have a bottle of wine with dinner and remain under the legal limit.
However, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is urging states to lower their BAC and BAL limits to .05 percent. Many parties, including tavern and bar owners, are strongly against lowering the alcohol limit. Some of the factors that led the NTSB to issue such a statement include the following:
- Nearly 10,000 people are killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers and more than 173,000 are injured, while 27,000 suffer incapacitating injuries each year in the United States.
- Almost 440,000 people have died in alcohol-related crashes over the past 30 years.
- Right now, more than 100 countries on six continents have BAC limits at 0.05 or lower.
- Research shows that each year around 4 million people admit to driving while under the influence.
- Studies show that impairment begins with the first drink — by 0.05 BAC, many drivers experience a reduction in both cognitive and visual functions, which greatly increases the risk of a serious car accident.
It’s still too soon to tell if the BAC limit in Ohio and across the country will be lowered. If you are arrested or charged with DUI, you have rights and you can fight back. Contact a criminal defense attorney for legal support.