Despite intense efforts to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, driving while under the influence of alcohol causes many deaths and injuries across America each year. Various organizations are campaigning for a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence. They claim that driving following the consumption of any alcohol reduces cognitive ability and response times. They argue that a driving drunk ban would drastically reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents, and that a ban makes commercial sense. They state that auto insurance companies stand to save billions of dollars if less accidents occur.
One of the highest profile campaigns is led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB is calling for a reduction in the current permitted blood alcohol level from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. They claim that at the level of 0.05 percent a driver’s cognitive skills and judgment begin to become impaired. Although NTSB was requested by Congress to make recommendations on safe driving levels, its report does not seem to have received much support from some of the large organizations lobbying in this area or from Congress itself. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) claims that they would rather concentrate their efforts on a total ban as opposed to piecemeal reductions. Congress passed a nationwide reduction in 2000, lowering the permitted blood alcohol level from 0.10 percent to the current threshold.
Florida has adopted a blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent but law enforcement officers also have the powers to impose sanctions on drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 if they consider that the driver’s judgment at this level is impaired. Opponents of a further reduction or a zero tolerance policy claim that the law as it stands is sufficient.
Despite intense lobbying efforts, the .08 limit remains for now, as do the sanctions. Being charged with a DUI offence can have a serious impact personally, professionally and financially. If you have been charged with DUI and want to know your legal options, a Florida attorney with extensive experience successfully defending DUI cases may be just what you need.