Higher Stakes for DUI Defendants as NTSB's recommends Lower BAC

On May 14, 2013 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted unanimously to recommend that 50 states reduce the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit from .08 to .05 or lower. In addition to this recommendation, NTSB is also urging in car detection systems, ignition interlock for all DUI offenders and support for DWI courts.

An NTSB recommendation doesn't always mean that the law will change, but in December 2011 there was a call from the NTSB to ban all cell phone use while driving. On May 3, 2013 the Florida Legislature responded and passed a bill to ban texting while driving. If Governor Scott signs off on the texting ban, the bill will become law on October 1, 2013.

Even if Florida's DUI law doesn't change, the recommendation could have other consequences. For instance, criminal DUI defendants may face heightened scrutiny from potential jurors if their case goes to jury trial. Media reports about NTSB's BAC recommendation are highlighting the notion that impairment begins at a lower level than most expect.

Driving Under the Influence is already a highly publicized crime and DUI jury trials often focus on the question of impairment. The national debate about impairment and driving could give prosecutors more receptive juries and lead to more DUI arrests and charges. With the added pressure, a criminal defendant should be diligent in finding the right DUI attorney for their case.

If you'd like to learn more about this recommendation or discuss your case with one of our attorneys call Buckmaster & Ellzey at (888) 785-6548.

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