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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would like to lower the legal limit for drunk driving from .08 to .05 blood alcohol content (BAC). The NTSB argues that most European countries, South American countries and Australia have a BAC limit of 0.05. NTSB claims that up to 1,000 lives could be saved each year.
Toxicologists believe that drivers can begin showing problems with inebriation at 0.07 BAC and show depth perception issues at 0.05.
While the NTSB cannot force states and the Commonwealth of Virginia, to lower the limit to .05, the Federal Government can tell the states that receiving Federal monies is contingent on the states lowering the legal limit. In fact, this is precisely how prior reductions in the legal limit (.15 to .10 to .08) have been accomplished.
In Virginia, people often mistakenly believe that because the legal limit is .08, they will not be charged with DWI or DUI if they produce a sample of less than .08 BAC. This is not correct. In fact, in Fairfax County alone, hundreds of people have been charged with DUI with breath samples of .07, .06, .05, and lower BACs. The reason is that the Commonwealth can attempt to prove that the person is "under the influence" despite the fact that their BAC is below a .08. In effect, the law in Virginia already allows a driver who is under a .08 BAC, but is nonetheless impaired, to be charged with DUI. However, these cases are difficult for the prosecutor to prove and a skilled Fairfax DUI & DWI lawyer can provide a strong and effective defense. If you have a BAC under a .08 and would like to discuss your case, contact our office for a free consultation.