Although Texas has strict laws and punishments for drunk driving, new research
suggests that people in the state favor lowering the legal BAC limit.
According to a poll from Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute,
54% of people in the United States support lowering the legal blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) from .08 to .05.
A closer look at the data shows that 60% of Texans would like to lower
the legal limit from .08 to .05, while 48% of Texans wouldn’t mind
seeing the limit set at 0.0%. Speaking about the number of Texan’s
that want to lower the limit to 0.0%, Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., director
of the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute, said the following,
“That’s the one that shocked everybody. I would be guessing
just like you would be: why is that?”
While Utah will be introducing a .05 limit next year, Texas lawmakers haven’t
stated whether similar laws would be considered for the Lone Star State.
Weatherford Police Chief Lance Arnold, said “I think the question
is really one of impairment and inability to operate a motor vehicle safely
regardless of the BAC limits. I have conducted hundreds of alcohol workshops
while training police officers in field sobriety testing. I have seen
people be impaired at .04 and I have seen people not be impaired at .08.
The problem really is two-fold. A blood or breath alcohol concentration
is a very objective number.”
According to Dustin Kennedy, a Hudson Oaks Detective, lowering the BAC
might help to keep more drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. Kennedy
said, “By lowering the BAC to .05 it will allow for the enforcement
of driving while intoxicated to be more stringent; thus, taking more impaired
drivers off the public roadways.”
A 2017 report stated, “The meta-analysis of international studies
on lowering the BAC limit in general found a 5% decline in non-fatal alcohol-related
crashes, a 9.2% decline in fatal alcohol-related crashes from lowering
the BAC from .10 to .08, and an 11.1% decline in fatal alcohol-related
crashes from lowering the BAC to .05 or lower.”
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