Lowering the legal blood alcohol content: Reduce drunk driving?

| Mar 30, 2018 | Drunk Driving Charges

After some years of decline in drunk driving crashes, Maryland is once again seeing an increase in these accidents as well as related fatalities. Baltimore has more drunk driving crashes than anywhere else in the state.

That’s why there’s been some media attention to a recent study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The study includes a recommendation to lower the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers from the current level of .08 percent to .05 percent.

One of the study’s authors notes that “most people in the developed world” live in countries where the legal limit is .05 or lower. He also asserts, “Most of the evidence is pretty firm that 0.05 laws save lives, and probably could reduce the number of deaths each year by about 10 percent.”

Besides lowering the legal BAC limit for drivers, the researchers behind the study propose a number of other changes that they say would reduce drunk driving. These include:

  • Reducing the number of establishments that can sell alcohol
  • Limiting the number of hours and days of the week when alcohol can be sold
  • Providing incentives for installing “preventative in-vehicle technology” like ignition interlock devices (IIDs)
  • Enhancing checkpoints as well as the requirement for IIDs for those convicted of DUIs

Under “Noah’s Law,” drivers convicted of a DUI, even if it’s a first offense, are required to have an IID installed in their vehicle.

While it’s unlikely that we’ll see a lowering of the legal BAC limit any time in the near future, Maryland does have some of the strictest drunk driving laws, like Noah’s Law, in the country. A DUI conviction, even if it’s your first one, can have a significant impact on your life, both in the short-term and over the long-run.

That’s why it’s essential not to go it alone if you are facing DUI charges. An experienced Maryland DUI attorney can provide important guidance and help ensure that your rights are protected.

Source: Baltimore Post-Examiner, “Lowering BAC Levels: Will it make Baltimore’s roads safer?,” Cassie Steele, March 22, 2018

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