Charles L. Truncale
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A Former Federal Prosecutor Who Now Fights For Defendants

Lower blood alcohol limit coming soon

The legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers in Florida is .08 percent. Each state decides the legal limit under its own laws, and as of now, every state has the same .08 percent limit. However, at the end of the year, one state is going to lower that to .05 percent. Utah will be the first state to do this, and experts say other states might follow.

Statistics say that on an average day in the United States, 29 people die in car crashes that involve drunk driving. Americans agree that action is needed to cut down on drunk driving, but there is debate about the best ways to achieve this. Some advocates call for lowering the legal blood alcohol content while others advocate for sobriety checkpoints or ignition interlock devices that require a driver to pass a breath test before the car can be started.

Polling has shown that 55 percent of Americans agree with the idea of lowering the legal BAC from .08 percent to .05 percent. The National Transportation Safety Board has advocated this change for years. It is estimated that if every state adopted a .05 percent limit, about 1,800 lives could be saved each year.

Utah lawmakers decided to make the change to .05 percent despite controversy. Some people worry that it will impact the state's beverage and tourism industry. The lower limit is set to go into effect on December 30. Researchers believe that other states could follow Utah's lead.

Because of legal blood alcohol content limits, suspected drunk drivers are often asked to take breath or blood tests. A DUI defense for someone who has been tested and found to be over the limit might challenge the accuracy of the test results.

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