Feds Seek to Reduce Nationwide DWI Legal Limit to .05 Blood Alcohol Concentration

This week, the National Transportation Safety Board made its official recommendation that all 50 States adopt a new legal limit of .05 percent blood alcohol concentration. This would be nothing less than a foolhardy attempt to return the days of Prohibition.

The government's own publications (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) admit that the average woman drinking as little as one glass of wine with dinner reaches a .05 BAC. So if its illegal to drive with a .05 BAC, then it's illegal to drive after drinking as little as one drink.

Most breath tests are administered after arrest. In NH, drivers have the right to refuse a pre-arrest preliminary (roadside) breath test, without risk of suspension of driver's license. So how will police officers get the incriminating breath test evidence if the legal limit is reduced to .05?

The answer is that if the legal limit is lowered to a level where many people are sober, then the police will have to apply a much broader standard in terms of which drivers should be arrested. A lowered BAC legal limit would give police officers a basis to argue that a driver's truthful admission to having as little as one drink, gives the officer probable cause to arrest for DWI.

That would be the new Prohibition. -- Ted Lothstein

Categories: DWI News