Will Lowering The Legal Alcohol Limit Reduce DUI’s?

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drunk driving

A huge problem in the world today is road accidents that happen under the influence of alcohol. A small amount of alcohol is usually allowed when driving a vehicle, but many are calling for this to be stopped so that we can keep roads as safe as possible. Even a small amount of alcohol can reduce reaction times and make a driver more reckless with their decisions. The Canadian federal government wants to lower the legal alcohol limit a person is allowed before driving a vehicle, and this will be a welcome change for those who have lost family and friends in drink driving accidents.

The Saskatchewan government changed drinking and driving laws back in January. They have a zero tolerance policy for those under the age of 21, and if you’re caught drinking with a blood alcohol level between .04 and .08, you could have your vehicle suspended for 3 days.

The Canadian federal government are hoping to go one step further, however, by changing the legal limit from .08 to .05. This change will hopefully make the law easier to enforce, as well as more coherent and efficient. South Africa has one of the highest vehicle accident rates in the world, with 15,000 fatalities every year. They experience more drink driving deaths there than anywhere in the world.

It is already illegal for anybody under the age of 21 to drink alcohol in the states, but the limit is currently .08. Should the US follow suit and lower the limit? For each drink, thinking distance can increase by 20%. This is the distance it takes you to make a decision. For example, a car pulling out in front of you, or an animal running out into the road. Alcohol can greatly slow down your reaction times, even in small quantities. There are also huge penalties that can be handed out when found guilty of a DUI. A criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce those penalties, but you may still be responsible for injuring others and putting them at risk.

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An Example Of Punishments For DUI in the USA

  • Blood Alcohol 0.5 but under 0.10 – 1-9 month disqualification, $1,706 max fine.
  • Blood Alcohol 0.10 and over but under 0.15 – 3-12 month disqualification, $2,438 max fine.
  • Blood Alcohol 0.15 and over – minimum of 6 month disqualification, $3,413 max fine.

Alcohol And You

Many things can affect the way alcohol affects you. The same drink can affect two different people in different ways. It will depend on:

  • Your metabolism
  • Your gender
  • Your height and weight
  • How much you’ve had to eat
  • And more

Refusing to drive at all when going out drinking is always going to be the safest idea. It will save you from embarrassment, a fine/disqualification, and maybe even save lives. Appointing a designated driver is a tried and tested method, but changing the law in the USA as well as globally could be the only way to reduce DUI fatalities in the long-run.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.