There is a bill out there proposing that the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in California should be lowered from the .08 percent that all states use to .05 percent. That would make it the strictest law in the country and would likely lead to a lot more DUI arrests.
But would it actually help keep people safe? A lot of criticism has been coming its way lately, saying there is essentially no reason for the change.
The issue, these critics say, is that most deadly DUI accidents already involve drivers who are well over the .08 limit. The average in the state is .18. That is in excess of twice the limit that people are already subjected to.
As such, lowering it to .05 would not prevent those accidents any more than keeping it at .08. Someone who is going to get all the way up to .18 and then drive is breaking the law either way, so they’re going to do it regardless.
The law has been called a money grab. Critics believe it is just a way for the authorities to issue more citations and collect fines. They could theoretically go out looking for people who went out to dinner with their families, had a single glass of wine and then tried to drive home. That would not stop any of the deadly accidents at higher BAC levels, but it would bring in funding for the state.
It will be very important to keep an eye on this bill to see if the limit does change, as it could drastically alter DUI cases and drivers’ rights.