In 2012, almost 1,300 people died in alcohol-related traffic deaths in
Texas. The state has the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation
in this statistic. Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board
proposed that states lower the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.05 percent.
The current limit in Texas and nationwide is 0.08 percent.
Not everyone thinks it is a good idea. A spokesperson for the Southeast
Texas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving thinks changing the law
will take too long. He advocates ignition interlock devices in all vehicles,
which would require the driver to blow into the device and register a
legal blood alcohol level to start the car.
A Texas DUI attorney points out that the majority of
DWI deaths and accidents are caused by people who test over 0.10. He argues
that lowering the limit to 0.05 will not affect those individuals and
will create an unacceptable burden for everyone else.
Drunk driving is a matter of state law, so the federal government cannot
pass a law lowering the legal limit for DWI. In the past, the feds have
made federal highway funding dependent on whether a state passes a particular
law. This is how they were able to get a national legal limit of 0.08
a decade ago.
If the legal limit is lowered, more people will be charged with DWI in
Texas. But, those people will still have the right to fight the charges.
An experienced DWI defense attorney will still be able to review the arrest
record, the blood alcohol testing evidence and the results of field sobriety
tests for any inconsistencies. In many cases, this can lead to a reduction
or dismissal of the charge or an acquittal by a jury.
Source: KTRH, "Feds Want to Lower Blood Alcohol Content."