DUI Legal Limit Should Be Reduced According To NTSBDUI legal limit

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is recommending that states lower the DUI legal limit from its current level of .08 to .05. According to the NTSB, research shows that a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 are impaired to the point that they pose a significantly greater risk of an auto accident resulting in injury or death.

“The research clearly shows that drivers with a BAC above 0.05 are impaired and at a significantly greater risk of being involved in a crash where someone is killed or injured,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “Our goal is to get to zero deaths, because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable. They are crimes. They can and should be prevented. The tools exist. What is needed is the will.”

The NTSB does not have the authority to lower the DUI legal limit. However, the NTSB is a powerful voice when it comes to setting the standard for the DUI legal limit.

Sarah Longwell of the American Beverage Institute, denounced the recommendation. According to Longwell the DUI legal limit does not need to be lowered. Longwell cited statistis showing that the average BAC in alcohol related traffic fatalities is .16, well above the current DUI legal limit in most states.

However, the NTSB referred to findings which were released along with its recommendations which indicated that blood alcohol levels as low as .01 have been found to impair driving skills, and that a level of .05 has been “associated with significantly increased risk of fatal crashes.” Based on its research, the NTSB said that a DUI legal limit of .05 would significantly reduce crashes and deaths.

The current DUI legal limit in Alabama is .08. There are lower limits that apply to commercial drivers and drivers who are under 21 year of age. In addition, an impaired driver in Alabama may receive a DUI ticket even where the blood alcohol level is not taken. DUI charges can be based on other evidence besides a BAC reading, such as performance on field sobriety tests and officer observations. Additionally, DUI charges may be based on the use of prescription drugs or illegal drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

If you are faced with a DUI charge in Alabama, the lawyers at Bradford Ladner LLP can assist you in resolving your case.

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