Lower DUI level idea not popular

May 15, 2013

DUIReaction has been swift and largely negative to a federal proposition to lower blood alcohol standards for drunken driving enforcement. (San Jose Mercury News)

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board voted unanimously this week to propose a limit of .05 blood alcohol, significantly lower than the current norm in most states of .08.

Officials of a restaurant trade association boasting more than 8,000 members, the American Beverage Institute, said in a statement that lowering the limit places undue burdens on moderate drinkers and depletes law enforcement efforts aimed at serious drunken drivers.

“This recommendation is ludicrous. Moving from .08 to .05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior,” said Sarah Longwell, managing director of the organization.

Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, told reporters he doesn’t expect individual states to follow the lower-level recommendation.

“We agree with the recommendations in general, but .08 is the law of the land, and it was already difficult to get to that point,” he said.


IF we were really serious about controlling drunk driving, we’d adopt the standards of Scandinavia… no tolerance… any measurable alcohol and you lose your license… FOR LIFE. PLUS the penalties are dire.

Sensible folks use designated drivers… and plan things out. However, these are not the folks we all worry about.

Unfortunately, its all about the penalties… the alcohol levels are less relevant if the penalties are toothless.


Yes, and traffic fines based on income.


A healthy chunk of the civilized world uses 0.05 and none of you drive nearly as well as you think you do after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2010 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes – with 3,092 people killed – and crashes resulting in an injury – with 416,000 people wounded.

Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

Eleven percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.


Interesting to see that the USA is actually on the lax end of the scale, globally speaking. Good to know if you travel. https://www.google.com/search?safe=images&source=android-browser-suggest&client=ms-android-verizon&redir_esc=&q=legal%20bac%20by%20country&hl=en-US&qsubts=1368646285936


Have not only traveled, but have driven on four continents and there’s some seriously bad drivers / laws out there. Aggressive driving = staying alive in many places outside the U.S.

Jorge Estrada

Nancy is right on! Intoxicating unfunded everything, will get funded by hook or crook.


Nobody is drunk at a .08. It’s all about the money.


.08 won’t usually make speech slurred or irrational (assuming it was rational to start,) but it is still enough to slightly slow reaction time and to reduce ability to focus. Those conditions can still contribute to an accident in some situations.

That said, I oppose the change because the DUI tests are not always that accurate and someone who is at .04 should not get a DUI because the equipment read .06. Maybe a small fine and a misdemeanor impairment charge would be an acceptable compromise.

Ted Slanders

As all TRUE Christians realize, we don’t have to worry about this DUI nonsense being lowered to .05. Hell, it could be lowered to .00 and it doesn’t matter to us. This is because we follow our God’s commands as expected, and don’t drink at all because of the ramifications of such Satanic behavior that goes directly against our God’s word!

This story is for atheists, or anyone that is not a TRUE Christian, because we Christians always follow the bible’s word, don’t we?! I wish the press would start pointing this fact out for a change.

“Envyings, murders, DRUNKENNESS, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galations 5:21)

“For he [John the Baptist] shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink.” (Luke 1:15)

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness.” (Romans 13:13)

“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” (Romans 14:21)

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (“Proverbs 20:1)


So what you’re saying is that even Jesus did not advocate the drinking of wine? If my math is correct, he made about 150 gallons of wine out of water for a wedding feast. Hummmm?

Ted Slanders


Are you stating that the bible is contradicting itself, again?


I think he’s just feeding the troll.


What a pathetic soul you are with nothing better than to quote from your book of fables…


So if I have one drink and then drive that is a night in jail and $5000 in legal costs and fines. If I get caught texting and driving it is a $20 fine and $50 for every subsequent offense. WTF!


Phone companies have a better lobbyists than bars and liquor companies.


Then don’t drink and drive…it’s THAT simple!!!


While the recommendation may seem “ludicrous, ” lowering the DUI level has PROVEN to save lives.

The province of BC, Canada lowered their DUI level from .08 to .05 a year or so ago, and they have cut the number of DUI deaths in half.

Of course in the beginning it was unpopular. The pubs hated it, and the consumers said it would never work. But it has.And it can work here as well. We need to do something to help reduce the daily carnage on our highways due to impaired driving. This is a start.


A 2010 experiment with Car and Driver magazine editor Eddie Alterman that took place at a deserted air strip showed that texting while driving had a greater impact on safety than driving drunk. While legally drunk, Alterman’s stopping distance from 70 mph increased by 4 feet; by contrast, reading an e-mail added 36 feet, and sending a text added 70 feet.

So why is texting a $20 fine while 0.05 DUI makes you a criminal? If safety is the concern then texting or using cell phones is what we should be going after not light drinking. Why not make 0.05 a $20 fine? It is safer then using a phone!


I agree…distraction is just as serious as impairment. I recall a time when if you wore headphones while driving you could be ticketed.

The fact remains however unpopular that the .05 works in saving lives. Perhaps texting and the like should be subject to a prohibition like DUI, with the same consequences.

ANY kind of distractive behavior while driving has the potential for a deadly outcome.


Perhaps the consequences for drunk driving are so high because when you’re drunk, you’re drunk every second that you’re behind the wheel.

Also, drunk drivers cause twice as many traffic deaths as distracted drivers! Do you think that there are twice as many drunk drivers as there are distracted drivers? I don’t think so!

Drunk drivers should be kept off the road regardless of their blood alcohol level. If it takes the fear of night in jail and $10K in fines/costs to keep them off the road, so be it.