Delaware Latest State to Consider Lowering the DUI Threshold


Delaware lawmakers are considering a bill that would lower the state's drunk driving threshold from .08 BAC to .05. This proposal comes on the heels of Utah's recent decision to lower its threshold to .05--a move which triggered a significant backlash and was even opposed by the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. WDEL has the story from Delaware:

House Bill 320, if passed, would change the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) required for driving under the influence arrests from .08 to .05, a legislative measure aimed at reducing drunk driving and the fatalities that they cause.

In Delaware, nearly 60 percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities involve drivers with BACs of 0.15 and above, while only about 2 percent of traffic deaths involve someone with a BAC between the legislation’s targeted interval of 0.05 and 0.08, according to ABI [American Beverage Institute].

Sarah Longwell, Executive Director of ABI, said the legislation would hurt the hospitality industry because social drinkers will feel that extra drink will lead to a DUI, and then other people won't even be able to have one drink because of their weight.

"The .05 limit is so low that it would essentially mean a 120 lb woman would be in a position of being arrested after a single drink," said Longwell. "It's going to have a tremendous chilling affect on moderate, social drinkers who otherwise would have gone out to happy hour dinner, split a bottle of wine with their spouse. At this point, splitting a bottle of wine with your spouse would put you absolutely in a place where you would get arrested if you drove home." ...

More here.