0.05 BAC laws only act to deter resources from the most dangerous drunk drivers on the road—instead targeting those who enjoy a drink with dinner

Washington, D.C.—Today, the National Academies of Sciences released a report on drunk driving deaths in the U.S. As part of a broader set of policy proposals that they claim will reduce alcohol-related fatalities, the committee recommended that the blood-alcohol arrest level for driving be lowered from the nationally recognized level of 0.08 to 0.05 BAC.

The American Beverage Institute (ABI) strongly opposes 0.05 BAC laws because they target moderate, responsible drinkers while ignoring high-BAC and repeat drunk driving offenders. ABI has been on the forefront of opposing Utah’s recently passed .05 law—which doesn’t go into effect until December.

Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, released the following statement:

We all want to save lives, but lowering the legal limit from 0.08 to 0.05 BAC will not accomplishment that goal. While a vast majority of alcohol-related fatalities involve drivers with BACs of 0.15 and above, very few occur between the newly targeted interval of 0.05 and 0.08 BAC. A 120 pound woman can reach the 0.05 BAC threshold after consuming little more than a single drink and is significantly less impaired than someone talking on a hand-free cellphone. Traffic laws should target the real drunk drivers on the road, not moderate, responsible drinkers who enjoy a drink with dinner.

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 their responsible patrons 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.
More on Lowering the Blood-Alcohol Arrest Level →

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