2 drinks could equal a DUI under proposed NTSB recommendations

A new proposed recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board would lower the legal driving limit, essentially to the point where a driver could end up charged with driving under the influence for having a glass or two of wine with dinner and then driving home. If the legal limit was dropped, this would most likely equate to a higher number of DUI arrests in Florida, at least in the beginning until people got more used to the new limit.

Right now the legal driving blood-alcohol content limit throughout the U.S. is 0.08 percent. However, the NTSB wants to see that percent lowered to 0.05. Officials from the board say the point is not to prevent drivers from having a glass of wine with dinner, but they do recognize that with such a low blood alcohol content limit, it would be the safest for people to just not drive at all even if they only did have one or two drinks.

At this point the recommendation has already reached some resistance. Even AAA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving declined to enforce the recommendation.

But the NTSB did not stop just with the recommendation to lower the legal driving limit. The board made a total of 20 recommendations, including making it mandatory for everyone convicted for DUI to have an alcohol ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

The board also wants there to be some sort of a program to encourage those with DUIs to actually use the interlock device. As of now, the board said part of the problem is that while a state may require an interlock device, many claim they do not drive or own a car, but then continue to drive anyway without the device.

Looking to the future, what all of this means is that not only may drunk driving laws get tougher in Florida, but the conditions of a conviction may also become stricter. However, regardless of whether the limit stays at 0.08 percent, or is reduced, those facing DUI charges should still reach out for legal advice from an attorney with experience handling DUI defense cases.

Source: The Associated Press, "Touhger drunken driving threshold recommended," Joan Lowy, May 14, 2013

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