The National Transportation Safety Board recently made a sweeping recommendation that could potentially affect proceedings in cases of alleged drunk driving in Colorado and across the country. The board has recommended that all states lower their legal limit for drivers’ blood alcohol content, or BAC, to 0.05 percent – cutting the current limit by nearly half.
Currently, every state, including Colorado, has a legal limit of 0.08 percent. This has been an established benchmark for many years, and one that motorists and law enforcement agencies are used to. However, it took the states 21 years to adopt that limit after the NTSB recommended decreasing it from 0.10 percent. We may see a similar path for their new recommendation, or states may ignore it entirely.
Meanwhile, Colorado lawmakers and law enforcement officials are still struggling with the issue of impaired driving caused by marijuana use. The legislature has repeatedly failed to pass legislation setting a hard THC limit for motorists. It will be interesting to see if the NTSB’s recommendation will have any bearing on how the state handles those accused of driving under the influence of marijuana.
In cases of suspected drunk driving, a person’s BAC reading is not the only measure of impairment that police and prosecutors may use as evidence. Officers may also use their own recollection and eyewitness testimony, as well as field sobriety test results and anything the defendant said at the scene.
If you are facing charges of impaired driving it is important to seek help from someone who understands DUI proceedings in the state and who has all the tools to mount an aggressive defense – whether that means negotiating a plea or taking a case to trial. Considering getting in touch with an experienced criminal law attorney.
Source: The FIndLaw Blotter, “NTSB Wants 0.05% Blood-Alcohol Limit Nationwide,” Brett Snider, May 14, 2013