The American Beverage Institute opposes a measure that would lower the legal limit for driving under the influence from .08 to .05.
The legislation was introduced by state Rep. Joe Miro, R-Newark.
The institute is a Washington D.C.-based trade group that lobbies on behalf of the restaurant industry. The group says the number of alcohol-related fatalities has remained unchanged because Delaware is not focusing on the people causing those crashes.
In Delaware, more than 65 percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities involve drivers with BACs of 0.15 and above, while onlyabout 2 percent of traffic deaths involve someone with a BAC between the legislation’s targeted interval of 0.05 and 0.08, the institute stated.
A driver is not meaningfully impaired at .05, the group contends.
A 120-pound woman can reach the .05 threshold after little more than a single drink and a 160-pound man will reach that level after two. Someone talking on a hands-free cell phone is considerably more impaired than a driver at .05, according to the institute.
Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, released the following statement: “We all want to save liveson our roads and all oppose dangerous drunk driving, but lowering the legal limit from 0.08 to 0.05 BAC will not reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths. Instead, the move will target moderate social drinkers who have enjoyed a drink with dinner while ignoring the high-BAC and repeat drunk driving offenders. If Delaware lawmakers really want to save lives, they have to focus on the real problem, not be distracted by feel-good legislation that criminalizes perfectly responsible behavior.”
Some in law enforcement say that two drinks in a short period of time can result in a rate approaching .08.