NTSB: DUI Limit Should Be Lowered to 0.05% Blood-Alcohol Level
Published May 15th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - It didn't take a high profile case to get people in north central Florida to think about drinking and driving; it's in the spotlight once again following a recommendation by a federal agency to lower the legal limit.
On Tuesday, members of the National Transportation Safety Board officially recommended that all states lower their legal blood alcohol limit to .05, below the current limit of .08.
When making their decision, board members looked at a number of countries overseas, including Australia, which recently saw a sharp decline in traffic fatalities involving alcohol after lowering its limit to .05.
While the recommendation was made with safety in mind, one Gainesville attorney who's been defending DUI cases for more than 40 years says lowering the legal limit would likely not make much of a difference in the number of alcohol-related vehicle deaths.
"The folks that are in the most serious accidents usually have a [BAC of] .15 or above," said Jeffrey Meldon, a personal injury and DUI attorney. "A .05 is a very low level, and the number of drinks that it takes can be anywhere from 1 to 3 drinks to get to a .05," said Meldon.
Meldon encourages lawmakers to look at other ways to enforce the current limit, such as installing breathalyzers in cars.
Meantime, members of the law enforcement community say they welcome any effort that will lower the number of impaired divers on America's roadways.
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