For many years, the nation’s legal blood alcohol content limit, or BAC, has been 0.08%. Some states, including Maryland, have lowered the BAC for driving while impaired (DWI) charges. In Maryland, the BAC needed for a DWI is 0.07%. However, can an even lower legal BAC reduce DUI fatalities?
Maryland’s DUI Statistics
According to the CDC, Maryland sits just above the national average for people who admitted to drinking too much and operating a motor vehicle at 2.1% compared to 1.9%. From 2003-2012, 1.716 people were killed in drunk driving collisions.
Recommendations to Lower the Legal BAC from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a 489-page report in January, according to CBS News, in which it recommended that the national legal BAC limit be lowered from 0.08% to 0.05%. Utah has already passed a law lowering the threshold, which goes into effect at the end of this year.
CBS reports “the panel also recommended that states significantly increase alcohol taxes and make alcohol less conveniently available, including reducing the hours and days alcohol is sold in stores, bars and restaurants. Research suggests a doubling of alcohol taxes could lead to an 11% reduction in traffic crash deaths, the report said.
Would Lower BAC Thresholds Increase DUI Arrests?
It’s highly likely that if Maryland’s BAC limit is lowered, arrest rates will rise as a result. This is would be due to a combination of factors. For example, an individual may have a reduced ability to “sense” what their limit is, or officers may make arrests based on lesser observations. For example, an officer may have arrested a driver in the past if their eyes were bloodshot and their speech was slurred but may make arrests only if the driver’s eyes were bloodshot with the legal limit being much lower. This may leave many individuals in a tough position if they were unjustly arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Were You Arrested for a DUI in Maryland? Contact an Attorney Today
Although the state’s BAC levels haven’t been lowered yet, DUI arrests are frequent. If you were arrested for driving under the influence or driving while impaired in Maryland, don’t wait to retain the services of an experienced DUI lawyer.
Contact Richard J. Brueckner today for more information on how to build a solid defense, even if you have breathalyzer test results that indicate you may have been over the legal limit. Call now for a consultation at 410-430-1464.