Washington, D.C. (January 15, 2020)—The Vermont Senate recently introduced legislation (S291) that would lower the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) arrest level for driving from the national standard of 0.08 to 0.05 BAC. The 40 percent reduction would prohibit consuming little more than a single drink prior to driving for many Vermonters.

Jackson Shedelbower, American Beverage Institute (ABI) communications director, released the following statement:

We all want to save lives on the road, but the data suggests lowering the legal BAC limit for driving from 0.08 to 0.05 will do little to accomplish that shared goal. According to the latest federal government data, drivers with BACs of 0.15 and above—a level that is triple the proposed arrest limit—are responsible for over 76 percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Vermont. These are the criminals that need to be targeted with the full force of the law. Not responsible consumers who enjoy a drink or two over dinner.

Limited traffic safety resources should be used to enforce effective policies, not implement feel-good legislation that will do little to increase road safety.

In Depth on the Issue

Lowering the Blood-Alcohol Arrest Level

ABI strongly opposes lowering the blood-alcohol arrest level. The move is an attack on the restaurant and hospitality industries and converts responsible consumers into criminals. Don’t allow your state legislature or municipality to be fooled by a false narrative linking a lower BAC arrest threshold with increased traffic safety. Stand…
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