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NTSB members seek to lower legal BAC from 0.08 to 0.05

There is no question that many people throughout the state of Virginia enjoy a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail while out for a meal. This practice may be at risk if some members of the National Transportation Safety Board get their way. They are pushing to reduce the legal blood alcohol content for drivers of legal drinking age, from 0.08 to 0.05.

The NTSB members have made their case for the change more than once in the state of Virginia. The impetus behind the proposed change is that it would reduce the number of fatalities that occur because of car accidents involving drivers who have consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

Not everyone is in support of the proposed change. A representative from the American Beverage Institute indicated that lowering the legal BAC would have a great impact on the restaurant industry. This particularly true for women as some BAC calculators indicate that two glasses of wine consumed by a woman who weighs 120-pounds would be approximately 0.07, over the new recommendation.

If the recommendations of the NTSB were adopted by lawmakers in the state of Virginia, it is possible that more drivers on roads throughout the state would face drunk driving arrests and charges. Presumably many of the individuals who would be impacted by such a change would have little to no experience with the criminal justice system. This could leave many individuals unsure of how to proceed. A criminal defense lawyer can be of assistance to those who face drunk driving charges.

The proposed change is not a foregone conclusion. Thus far the response to it has been mixed. Regardless of whether it is ever adopted it is important for all drivers who are arrested and charged with drunk driving, regardless of their BAC, to defend themselves against the charges.

Source: WTKR, “One-drink limit: Feds pushing for lower DUI standards,” Mike Mather, Sept. 4, 2014

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