Washington State to Lower the Legal BAC Limit to .05 to Further Reduce DUI

In efforts to reduce DUI (driving under the influence) and drunk driving related deaths, lawmakers, federal officials, and state officials have been working vigorously to find effective solutions.  Among recent recommendations, suggested by the National Transportation Safety Board, is for all states to lower the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit from .08 to .05.  This recommendation stems from the fact that more than 100 countries already have .05 as their legal BAC limit.   Europe, for example, has experienced significant drops in DUI related deaths, over a 50% reduction, since imposing the .05 limit about 10 years ago.

Just how low is a .05 BAC limit?  For a women weighing approximately 120 pounds, she will reach a .05 BAC after consuming 1 drink.  And for a man weighing around 160 pounds, he will reach .05 just after 2 drinks.

The National Transportation Safety Board realizes their recommendation will be met with much resistance, however as NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said, “Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable… The tools exist.  What is needed is the will.”

The NTSB reported more than 4 million people a year in United States drive drunk, however only half of those drivers are ever stopped by law enforcement and investigated for DUI.