Three states propose .05 alcohol limits ― will California do the same?

Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) again recommended that states begin dropping their legal blood-alcohol-concentration (BAC) levels for driving from .08 percent to .05 percent.

Well, this year several states are taking this recommendation to heart as lawmakers in three western states -- Washington (HB 1974), Hawaii (SB 18) and Utah (HB 155) -- have already introduced legislation seeking a reduced BAC limit of only .05 percent. While similar legislation has not yet been introduced in California, many think it may only be a matter of time given the recent trend in other states.

Not everyone agrees

According to statistics provided by the NTSB -- and cited by Hawaiian lawmakers -- a .05 BAC limit would save about 500 to 800 lives each year, and it would also reduce the number of catastrophic injuries caused by drunk driving accidents.

However, not everyone is convinced. Indeed, opponents of the recently-introduced bills say that a lower BAC limit would do little to make the roads safer, particularly since they claim few traffic accidents involve drivers with BAC levels between .05 and .08 percent.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether the proposed bills in Washington, Hawaii and Utah will gain any traction -- and whether lawmakers in California will follow suit.

However, regardless of the actual effectiveness of these proposed laws, one thing is clear: drunk driving accidents continue to plague our roadways and threaten the safety of motorists and pedestrians alike. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, you have rights. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney today to learn what legal options may be available.

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