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Will the legal limit for DUI charges get even more strict?

Previous posts here have discussed the ramifications for a person charged with driving while intoxicated. Currently, South Carolina law states that one circumstance under which a driver can face DUI charges if a Breathalyzer test returns a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. However, this BAC may be changing if the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board are taken into consideration.

According to the NTSB, numerous people suffer fatal injuries each year due to drivers who are operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. In order to decrease this level of fatalities, the NTSB is recommending that states lower the legally allowable blood alcohol concentration from 0.08 to 0.05.

Although more than 100 countries have switched their legally allowable BAC to 0.05, states within the United States have left their levels at 0.08. NTSB officials think that this type of change would reduce the number of alcoholic beverages people consume before they get behind the wheel of their vehicle.

As some may expect, this recommendation has not been met with much support from some groups, including trade groups. These groups are arguing that a legal BAC limit of 0.05 would criminalize a behavior that is completely legal. In addition, some believe that the change would do nothing to alter the behavior of heavy, hardcore drinkers, but still punish those that enjoy drinking in moderation.

No matter what the legally allowable BAC, the penalties associated with a DUI charge can be severe and can include more than just monetary fines. It is always helpful for those that are facing criminal charges for drunken driving to get the right information about their criminal defense options.

Source: Greer-Taylors Patch, "Speak Out: Should Drunk Driving Threshold Be Lowered?," Jason Evans, May 15, 2013

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