DUI Arrests and The National Transportation Safety Board’s Recommendation To Lower BAC Level
WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend to states that they lower the blood-alcohol content that constitutes drunken driving.
Currently, all 50 states have set a BAC level of .08, reflecting the percentage of alcohol, by volume, in the blood. If a driver is found to have a BAC level of .08 or above, he or she is subject to arrest and prosecution.
The National Transportation Safety Board is advising states to lower the Blood Alcohol Level that defines drunk driving from .08 to .05, which they say is the level at which many drivers’ vision can be affected-NBC’s Tom Costello reports.
The NTSB recommends dropping that to a BAC level of .05.
Each year, nearly 10,000 people die in alcohol-related traffic accidents and 170,000 are injured, according to the NTSB. While that’s a big improvement from the 20,000 who died in alcohol-related accidents 30 years ago, it remains a consistent threat to public safety.
The United States, Canada and Iraq are among a small handful of countries that have set the BAC level at .08. Most countries in Europe, including Russia, most of South America and Australia, have set BAC levels at .05 to constitute drunken driving.
The NTSB is an investigative agency that advocates on behalf of safety issues. It has no legal authority to order any change to state or federal law. It would be up to individual states whether to accept the NTSB’s recommendation, and up to the Department of Transportation whether to endorse the recommendations.
The last move from .10 to .08 BAC levels took 21 years for each state to implement. Source, full story
The Law and BAC Results
A BAC of .08 is now the legal limit in all 50 states; however, there are even lower thresholds for younger drivers in some states. Some states have a zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving policy. If you are under 21 and have any level of alcohol in your blood, even .01%, you may be facing a drunk driving charge.
The only way to accurately determine your BAC is to take a breath, blood, urine or other chemical test, but you have probably seen some general rules of thumb that help estimate BAC, depending on weight and the mount of alcohol ingested. These figures are rough estimates.
Depending on your weight, metabolism, amount of food eaten and other factors, you may be legally intoxicated even if you have fewer drinks in your system than the average man or woman of your weight could legally handle. There are also home breathalyzer kits that allow you to measure your own BAC. These tests can be highly inaccurate, and it’s not encouraged to rely on them (source).
Talk to a DUI Lawyer about Your Results
If you have a DUI case pending against you, speak to a DUI attorney about your DUI defense today.
1st Florida DUI Offense
First Drunk Driving Conviction (Note: BAL = Blood Alcohol Level)
- Jail – 6 Months Maximum (BAL from .08 to less than .15)
- Jail – 9 Months Maximum (BAL above .15)
- Fine – From $500 to $1,000 (BAL from .08 to less than .15)
- Fine – From $1,000 to $2,000 (BAL above .15) or Minor in Vehicle
- License – Suspended from 180 Days to 1 Year
- Hardship Reinstatement – Complete DUI School Prior to Hardship Application
- Ignition Interlock Device – Up to 6 Months (Hardship Reinstatement BAL above.15)
- Community Service Fine – $10 for Each Hour of Community Service Required
- Community Service – 50 Hours
- Treatment Program May Be Allowed in Lieu of Imprisonment
- Vehicle Impound – 10 Days
West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we advise our clients to neither blow into a breathalyzer machine nor do a roadside test. Why give evidence to the state if you don’t have to?
If you have submitted to a breathalyzer test and failed, that is not the end of your case. The Intoxilzer 5,000 and Intoxilzer 8,000 breathalyzer machines used to measure BAC in Florida have significant problems. If you have an expert witness and an experienced attorney who can challenge the accuracy of the machine in court, the BAC evidence may be thrown out. DUI/DWI Lawyer Andrew Stine has obtained not-guilty verdicts due to machine failure for clients who have had blood alcohol levels of .229 and .227.
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. We will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.