California Lawmakers Propose Lowering BAC Driving Limit to .05
CALIFORNIA – Lawmakers in the state of California have proposed legislation to lower the blood alcohol content limit for driving to .05, according to an online story from visaliatimesdelta.com. Currently, the limit in California — and almost every other U.S. state — stands at .08.*
In a bipartisan move, Autumn Burke (D-Marina Del Rey) and Heath Flora (R-Ripon) have proposed Assembly Bill 1713, which would make it illegal to drive in the state of California with a BAC of .05 or greater. This would place California on the same level as Utah for the most stringent DUI laws in the country. Utah last year passed a law to lower its BAC driving limit to .05.
California’s move follows recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board in a 2013 report, in which the agency stated that impairment is known to begin before a person reaches a .08 BAC, which is legal limit for driving in every state in the U.S. except Utah. NTSB went on to say that when a person’s BAC reaches .08, his or her risk of a deadly vehicle crash has increased by more than two times. NTSB then recommended lowering the limit to .05.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that a BAC of .05 would mean consumption of only one alcoholic beverage for a woman who weighs 160 pounds and only two alcoholic beverages for a man who weighs 200 pounds. The news that California patrons could potentially only have one drink if they wanted to drive their own vehicles has some bar owners concerned, while others do not see the proposed bill as a problem in the age of ridesharing.
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