Lawmakers Considering Lowering Blood Alcohol Limit

Washington law enforcement may soon have the green light to crack down even harder on potentially-intoxicated drivers. A bill that was introduced into the state House of Representatives on February 1 seeks to lower the legal limit for blood alcohol content from 0.08% to 0.05%, making potentially thousands of additional drivers eligible to be arrested for DUI.

The bill, known as HB 1864, has been sponsored by numerous members of the House, and is currently being reviewed by the House Committee on Transportation. It’s expected to be placed onto the floor calendar soon.

The move to lower the DUI limit is not unprecedented. Washington laws currently stipulate that THC-induced DUI from smoking marijuana has a legal blood content limit of 0.05%, and bill supporters are quick to point out that there are far fewer marijuana-related DUI fatalities in Washington each year than there are alcohol DUI deaths. Similar studies have shown that the chances of a fatality on the road doubles when your blood alcohol reaches the 0.08% level.

A recent study by the National Transportation Safety Board suggests that lowering the blood alcohol content limit from 0.08% to 0.05% across the country would save an estimated 500 to 800 lives every year. That’s a decrease of roughly five to ten percent, based on 2014 CDC statistics.

Scientific experiments have shown that an average 180-pound man reaches a 0.05% blood alcohol content after just two drinks. Some women can reach this level after just one drink. Because it’s so easy to reach this level, critics of this bill have stated that it won’t prevent drunk driving numbers at all. Rather, they argue that bills focusing on sobriety checkpoints and increasing the prevalence of ignition interlock devices is more beneficial.

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you should not face the harsh penalties alone. At the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC, we have stood by those accused of DUI charges for more than 15 years, and have earned a substantial record of case success. We are proud of our accolades, including a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo and being a Sustaining Member of the National College for DUI Defense.

Get in touch with an attorney today! Call the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC at 888.252.1961 to schedule your initial consultation.