Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2019)–Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) announced its support for lowering the legal BAC threshold from .08 to .05 in Michigan. The group says that it continues to stand by the federal legal limit of .08 but will throw its considerable lobbying might behind state efforts to move to .05. This marks a massive shift in MADD’s position. It is also notable as three additional states—California, Oregon and New York—are currently considering .05 legislation. Utah became the first state to implement a lower legal limit at the end of 2018.

MADD’s new-found support for .05 will provide a huge boost to activists pushing for a 40 percent stricter limit on moderate consumption. Their endorsement will accelerate state-level efforts to implement .05. The American Beverage Institute—a restaurant trade association—opposes these proposals and agrees with MADD’s position since the 1990s that the current legal limit of .08 is the proper standard supported by the data.

A statement from the American Beverage Institute is below:

Since the National Transportation Safety Board first recommended that all states lower the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving by 40 percent from 0.08 to 0.05 BAC, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has maintained its support for the current federal legal limit. They have opposed this new position—saying “we have no intention of going below 0.08.” While their past position has now changed, the facts supporting current law remain the same.

MADD’s focus is now shifting to those who enjoy a drink or two over dinner—a group that is not overrepresented in traffic accidents. It’s disappointing to see MADD capitulate to the pressures of anti-alcohol activists—who will now actively demonize moderate and responsible consumers.

In Depth on the Issue

Lowering the Blood-Alcohol Arrest Level

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