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The Push to Lower Legal BAC Limit to .05: How It Affects DUI Cases

Annually, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unveils its Most Wanted list, outlining the top 10 recommendations to enhance transportation safety across the United States. While many of these recommendations revolve around commercial trucking and preventing alcohol and drug use among commercial truck drivers, one proposal stands out for all drivers – lowering the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit from .08 to .05.

The NTSB’s recommendation to reduce the legal BAC limit to .05 is not new; it was previously suggested in 2013 and 2014 but did not gain much traction. However, it has resurfaced, raising questions about its potential impact on DUI cases and the enforcement of impaired driving laws.

The legal BAC limit in most states, including Colorado, is .08. This means that a person is considered legally impaired if their BAC reaches or exceeds .08 while operating a motor vehicle. However, BAC is not the sole determinant of impairment. Alcohol affects individuals differently, and various factors, such as body weight, gender, metabolism, and even height, can influence how alcohol impairs a person.

For example, an average 180-pound male consuming one additional beer over an hour could go from a BAC of .05 to .08. However, it is essential to remember that not everyone fits the “average” mold. Law enforcement can arrest individuals for impaired driving with a BAC lower than .08 if they exhibit noticeable signs of impairment.

In Colorado, a BAC reading of .08 or higher typically leads to a DUI charge. In contrast, a BAC reading between .05 and .079 can result in a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) charge. The repercussions of such charges may encompass fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education classes, and additional penalties.

If the legal BAC limit is lowered to .05, it could potentially result in more drivers being charged with impaired driving offenses, especially those who may have previously fallen just below the legal limit. Additionally, it could lead to increased scrutiny and stricter enforcement of DUI laws.

As this proposal continues to be debated, individuals must remain aware of their alcohol consumption and exercise responsible decision-making in the context of drinking and driving. Suppose you or someone you know is facing DUI or DWAI charges in Colorado. In that case, it’s essential to seek legal representation from experienced DUI attorneys who can navigate the complexities of these cases and work to achieve the best possible outcome.

At Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, our Denver drunk driving attorneys are dedicated to helping clients overcome DUI and DWAI charges. We understand that each case is unique and are here to provide the guidance and support needed to move forward. Contact us today to protect your rights and explore your legal options.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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