June 5, 2013 - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended in May that states change their "Per Se" Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) legal limits to 0.05%, down from the current 0.08% level that is uniform nationwide. While states have the final say on DUI laws, the federal government has used its considerable leverage by conditioning federal highway funds apportioned to states on their adopting the 0.08% limit. Conceivably, they could do the same for the 0.05% NTSB recommendation. But they will have a fight ahead of them. Numerous industries would be affected by a reduction in the BAC per se legal limits, including the beverage, restaurant, bar and nightclub, and sporting event industries. With powerful lobbyists at their disposal, and politicians friendly to their cause (and money, of course), it is unlikely that the NTSB would be able to lower the limits...for now.
As it is, many people don't realize that you can still be arrested and convicted for driving under the influence even if your BAC is under the 0.08% limit (CVC 23152(b)). Under CVC 23152(a), "[i]t is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combines influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle." As you can see, one can still be charged with DUI in spite of their BAC being under 0.08%, if they "were under the influence."
If you or someone who know has been charged with a DUI, you must act fast to: a) retain your driving privileges; and b) fight your pending criminal charges to minimize the potentially severe penalties associated with a DUI conviction. Call 949-440-3240 to speak to a licensed attorney or visit www.patelduilaw.com for more information on DUIs.