Each year, thousands of Americans are injured or killed in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. While deciding to drive after drinking alcohol is rarely a good idea, it’s important to distinguish between having a glass of wine with dinner and then choosing drive vs. having several drinks at a bar and then choosing to drive.The National Transportation Safety Board recently made several recommendations aimed to improve highway safety and prevent car accident-related injuries and fatalities. One of the most notable and controversial of the NTSB’s recent recommendations revolves around lowering the legal blood alcohol limit from its current .08 to .05.

The NTSB made the recommendation to lower the legal blood alcohol content limit to .05 despite having minimal research to support such a recommendation. It’s likely that any move to pass a law lowering the BAC limit to .05 would be met with opposition around the country and in states like Colorado.

Currently in Colorado, police are able to arrest drivers suspected of drinking alcohol or ingesting drugs and charge them with driving while ability impaired. In Colorado, the threshold for a DWAI charge is typically .05. To put things into perspective, a 160 pound man would likely register a .05 BAC after having two 12 oz. beers with dinner and 120 pound woman after just one glass of wine.

While the NTSB made their recommendation public, few safety advocate groups have endorsed or supported the measure. In fact even groups such as the American Automobile Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving admitted additional research into the matter is necessary.

Criminal charges related to drunk driving are serious and can result in hefty fines, jail time and a permanent criminal record. Colorado residents who are facing drunk driving or drugged driving charges including
DUI and DWAI would therefore be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney.

Source: wbur.org, “Tougher Drunken Driving Threshold Is Recommended,” Joan Lowy