# News Should the US drunk-driving threshold be lowered?

1. May 14, 2013

### Greg Bernhardt

Sounds ok to me. If I have more than two drinks, I don't drive. When I'm out on a weekend I see far to many people get behind a car when they shouldn't. We also need to make the punishments more severe. I hear of many reports of people with 3-4-5 DUIs still with a license or still driving without one.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/14/us/ntsb-blood-alcohol

2. May 14, 2013

### ImATrackMan

This is exactly what we need (not sarcasm, by the way). Clamping down on the legal limit is definitely going to make the roads safer, and cut down on smart***es that drink to 0.06 or 0.07 and say "But, hey, I'm under the limit, aren't I?".

3. May 14, 2013

### MarneMath

I'm a big fan of breathalyzer to start your car. Take the choice out of the equation for a person who has obviously shown they can't be trusted to make the right decision.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
4. May 14, 2013

### AlephZero

The statistics look strange compared with the UK:

Same legal blood alcohol level as the US
Number of deaths from drink driving less than 500 / year (that's still 500 too many, of course)
Number of prosecutions for drunk driving about 70,000 / year

Changiing the law makes no difference unless it is enforced - is that why the US figure is 20x higher than the UK?

The CNN link says reducing the level from 0.08 to 0.05 would only save 500 to 800 deaths out of the 10,000 - that doesn't seem very effective.

What are the US penalties for conviction? The UK minimum penalty is a 12 month disqualificaton plus fine for first offence, 3 years disqualification for a second offence within 10 years. Maximum penalty is 6 months jail sentence plus 5 years disqualification.

5. May 14, 2013

### enosis_

I think we need a serious discussion regarding legal limits in places where pot is legal - for combinations of alcohol and pot.

6. May 14, 2013

### WannabeNewton

What are the statistics on pot related driving injuries / accidents / deaths?

7. May 14, 2013

### azdavesoul

Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2013
8. May 14, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

Here's a report.

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving

9. May 14, 2013

### krash661

i'm glad that i do not even drink alcohol.

enosis,

these are topic supposedly for discussion (within the government)when it comes to legalizing it in general.(but the big alcohol and tobacco companies lobby against it)
there's many idea's, the whole same rules as alcohol is leaned towards at this moment the last i knew of.

but it appears it is going no where at this point in time.

it being medically is still in a difficult stage.
but all in all, there's tons of papers on it globally.
on both medically and recreational.

also,
it can very from person to person.
some maybe effected from it in ways others may not.
which makes it tough for an apple to apple comparison.

for me personally ,
i can not handle alcohol.
all those effect that are said from weed, i experience from alcohol(when i have had a drink)
and not from weed.

plus it helps with my supposed serious case of social anxiety disorder.

Last edited: May 14, 2013
10. May 14, 2013

### WannabeNewton

11. May 14, 2013

### enosis_

I don't think drugs were considered when setting legal limits for alcohol. I think it's reasonable to think legalization of substances will result in use legal use of both pot and alcohol by some and a new set of legal limits should also be reasonable.

12. May 14, 2013

### krash661

i never said drugs were considered when establishing alcohol laws.
I said for marijuana, the thought is to imply the same rules from alcohol.

the problem with the discussions(in general) are,
no one realize that, not much would change, because what is said to occur or what is thought to occur,
is and has been since the beginning of(which only people in this trench would know of and possibly the majority that are not ,might not know of and leads to thoughts and statements that might not even be true).

13. May 14, 2013

### leroyjenkens

1st offense, jail and suspended license for a while. 2nd offense, jail for longer and revoked license forever. 3rd offense, prison.

14. May 14, 2013

### AlephZero

How is that sujpposed to work in practice? If you want to ignore it, just buy another car.

Or cheaper, buy a car vacuum cleaner to blow into the device...

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
15. May 14, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

Seems to me like in order to answer that question we need to know just how many of those 10,000 lives are lost to people driving with BAC between 0.05 and 0.08. Making the penalty stiffer for people above .08 and lowering the threshold are two completely different approaches.

From the article:
So my question is: could the same police and court resources save as many or more lives by increasing penalties?

16. May 14, 2013

### FlexGunship

I don't know if lowering the limit is really the issue; police officers just need more latitude in punishing unsafe driving.

Frankly, I don't care what your BAC is, if you're swerving between lanes, driving more than 5mph under the speed limit, or missing significant traffic markers (like red lights), you ought'a be in jail! Well... at least off the road.

17. May 14, 2013

### MarneMath

The Parole officer might notice that you bought a new car. That's one reason. Also would a vacuum cleaner even work? And who the heck goes drinking and carries a vacuum cleaner -_-. I think that's probably way to smart for the guy who gets black out drunk.

*Just for reference, in the State of Georgia this may be required for six months for a third offender.

18. May 14, 2013

### enosis_

19. May 14, 2013

### wukunlin

I don't know if it is the same in US, but in NZ, the drink drivers that gets people killed are the ones who are at like 20 times the legal limit. Lowering the threshold is almost pointless in our case (but our government does it anyway).

20. May 14, 2013

### BobG

The person caught with a DUI has to pay to have it installed in their car, plus pay a monthly fee to rent it for however long they're sentenced to use it for. If they lose their car (car accident, etc), they have to remove the device and return it or buy it (which is pretty expensive). They only have so long to get it installed into another vehicle that they drive or they get to start the whole process over (the DMV just doesn't believe the person just stopped driving).

If you're good looking, you might be able to get someone to http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/video/beating-car-breathalyzer-10713920 [Broken].

In reality, it doesn't do you any good to get someone else to blow into it for you unless they plan on riding along with you. Periodically as you drive, it starts beeping and you have some short amount of time to blow into it or your car shuts off and can't be restarted for a while.

Not only does this keep a person from driving their car while intoxicated, any failed tests are logged. Once a month, the driver has to take his car in so the log can be read and cleared. Too many failed tests for low levels of alcohol and the driver gets to start the process over (the rule is no alcohol at all while driving with the breathalyzer). You definitely don't want to have a reading above the legal limit logged into the computer.

These really are a better tool for controlling drunk driving than suspending someone's license for a few months. With a suspended license, a person can take the risk and drive anyways. With the breathalyzer, it's awful hard for a person to give up their car.

A few failed tests and they probably accept that they just won't be driving after any alcohol. Or a lot of failed tests until they accept that they'll never be rid of that thing until they finally stop trying to beat the machine.

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017