NTSB to lower legal limit to .05 for intoxicated driving?

Posted on Sep 08, 2018

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.  The NTSB claims that up to 1,000 lives could be saved each year.

Drivers Show Signs of Impairment at a .05 Blood Alcohol Level

Many toxicologists believe that drivers can begin showing problems with inebriation at blood alcohol levels as low as 0.07 and show depth perception and other early signs of impairment at a 0.05 blood alcohol level.    

While the NTSB cannot force states and the Commonwealth of Virginia, to lower the per se 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.

Virginia  Law Allows a Person with a BAC less than a .08 to be Charged with DUI

In Virginia, people often mistakenly believe that because the legal limit is .08, they will not be charged with 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.  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 much more difficult for the prosecutor to prove.

Fairfax DUI Lawyer for Aggressive Defense of a Low a BAC DUI

If you have been charged with a DUI with a BAC under a .08, the prosecutor will rely heavily on your driving behavior and field sobriety tests to prove your guilt.  The prosector may also bring an expert toxicologist to perform a retrograde extrapolation analysis to argue that your BAC was actually higher at the time of driving then the test showed and hour or two later.  You need an experienced Fairfax Virginia DUI Defense Lawyer on your side.   

Call 703-556-0004 or use the Contact Us page to set up a free consultation.

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Kyle Manikas
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