Last week the news was abuzz with the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation that states lower the blood alcohol content level for per se DWI charges to 0.05%. As the Wall Street Journal reports on that story, the recommendation comes on the heels of findings that indicate that fatal traffic accidents involving the breach of DWI laws remain at 10,000 per year, even though law enforcement’s efforts to crack down on drinking and driving have increased.
This week, some states are stepping up and responding to the NTSB’s recommendations. One such state is New York, where, according to the New York Daily News, alcohol-related traffic fatalities number around 360 each year. The BAC counted in those numbers ranges between 0.08% (the BAC level for per se intoxication), and 0.06% (the BAC level for impairment). New Yorkers may be calling upon New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to take the NTSB’s recommendations into consideration. Statistically, the 0.05% limit has proven to be effective in many other areas around the world. For example, in the Australian state of Queensland, the number of alcohol-related fatal accidents dropped by 18% after the lower 0.05% limit was introduced. In the United State, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety approximated that the death toll would have been 6,794 fewer in the year 2011 if drivers would have stayed below 0.08% BAC.
In Buffalo, New York, State Senator Charles Fuschillo, of Long Island, was originally responsible for New York’s 0.08% BAC limit for per se intoxication. WGRX.Com notes that back in those days, Senator Fuschillo introduced the legislation under pressure that the state would lose funding from the federal government if it did not crack down on the BAC limit. Now reporters are interested in hearing what Senator Fuschillo has to say about the even lower 0.05% limit recommended by the NTSB. According to the report, Senator Fuschillo stated that he believed that any measure to make the roads safer warranted a serious review, but that he would need to know more information about the proposal before proposing it to the Senate Transportation Committee. He mentioned the pressure that the states were under when the 0.08% BAC limit came around, and expressed wonder about what the federal government might do in light of the new lower limit. When asked about his speculations regarding the bar and restaurant industry’s response to the proposal, Senator Fuschillo seemed to reaffirm that lawmakers need to focus on saving lives.
For now, whether New York will adopt the NTSB’s recommendations of a 0.05% BAC limit is unclear. Lawmakers must sift through hundreds of pages of reports before proposing legislation, and appear to be interested in the federal government’s response. It is important for all drivers on the road to keep updated on changing DWI laws, because they may affect a driver in the future. A DWI charge can change a person’s life, and can be terribly burdensome on finances, personal relationships and a career. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, call an experienced attorney at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at 1-866-792-7800 for a confidential consultation.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.