View Poll Results: Do you support changing the legal limit

Voters
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  • Yes, decrease it in all cases

    0 0%
  • Yes, increase it in all cases

    6 33.33%
  • Yes, decreases it in cases of driving

    1 5.56%
  • Yes, increase it in cases of driving

    3 16.67%
  • Yes, decrease it in cases of public

    0 0%
  • Yes, increase it in cases of public

    1 5.56%
  • Yes, change it to give police discretion of the label within a range

    0 0%
  • No, leave it exactly as it current is defined.

    4 22.22%
  • Other - explain

    3 16.67%
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Thread: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

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    Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Currently intoxication under the law is defined as .08 blood alcohol level. Due to some recent occurences I've begun to wonder if this should be changed.

    On one hand, DUI's seem to be continually increasing in this country. Should we lower the definition of intoxication to something closer to .06 or .04? This way even a little alcohol is likely to put you over the legal limit of intoxication and thus people are more deterred from diving under any circumstances.

    On the flip side, alcohol affects everyone seemingly at different rates. Would you instead be willing to change the definition to intoxication to where between .08 and say .12 the officer has discretion to consider you not-intoxicated due to a variety of tests?

    Finally, do you think blood alcohol level should be used to determine "drunk in public" offenses, and do you think the definition of intoxication for those situations should be higher...say something like .16 or similar. Since its rather easy not to be "drunk" to an obnoxious level it seems making it illegal to be in public with the current legal limit counter productive.

    What are your thoughts, do you think it would be helpful to change the definition of intoxication under the law?

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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Currently intoxication under the law is defined as .08 blood alcohol level. Due to some recent occurences I've begun to wonder if this should be changed.

    On one hand, DUI's seem to be continually increasing in this country. Should we lower the definition of intoxication to something closer to .06 or .04? This way even a little alcohol is likely to put you over the legal limit of intoxication and thus people are more deterred from diving under any circumstances.

    On the flip side, alcohol affects everyone seemingly at different rates. Would you instead be willing to change the definition to intoxication to where between .08 and say .12 the officer has discretion to consider you not-intoxicated due to a variety of tests?

    Finally, do you think blood alcohol level should be used to determine "drunk in public" offenses, and do you think the definition of intoxication for those situations should be higher...say something like .16 or similar. Since its rather easy not to be "drunk" to an obnoxious level it seems making it illegal to be in public with the current legal limit counter productive.

    What are your thoughts, do you think it would be helpful to change the definition of intoxication under the law?
    I wouldn't mind a scientific and medical review of BAC levels. I don't think a DUI should be given at an officer's discretion, however. I don't think that's fair. A one-size-fits-all BAC level isn't perfect, but I think it's the best way to assert DUI or DWI since the penalties are so fierce.

    Edit: If this is true, I would not change it:

    With each drink consumed, a person’s blood alcohol concentration increases. Although outward appearances vary, virtually all drivers are substantially impaired at .08 BAC. Laboratory and on-road research shows that the vast majority of drivers, even experienced drivers, are significantly impaired at .08 with regard to critical driving tasks such as braking, steering, lane changing, judgment and divided attention. Decrements in performance for drivers at .08 BAC are on the order of 40-60% worse than when they are at .00 BAC. Research findings suggest that the most crucial aspect of impairment is the reduction in the ability to handle several tasks at once. This skill is precisely what driving a motor vehicle requires.
    http://www.1800duilaws.com/dui-artic..._is_08_bac.asp

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    Last edited by MaggieD; 01-14-11 at 11:09 AM.
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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Currently intoxication under the law is defined as .08 blood alcohol level. Due to some recent occurences I've begun to wonder if this should be changed.

    On one hand, DUI's seem to be continually increasing in this country. Should we lower the definition of intoxication to something closer to .06 or .04? This way even a little alcohol is likely to put you over the legal limit of intoxication and thus people are more deterred from diving under any circumstances.
    Hmm . . . I guess I can't answer this question because I don't really know what .08 is and how drunk one actually must be to hit that mark. I definitely don't think the limit should be so low that people effectively can't drink at all when they drive somewhere for dinner. But at least in my own experience, I wouldn't feel comfortable driving after three drinks or so.

    On the flip side, alcohol affects everyone seemingly at different rates. Would you instead be willing to change the definition to intoxication to where between .08 and say .12 the officer has discretion to consider you not-intoxicated due to a variety of tests?
    No. I think it's important to consider in setting the limit that alcohol affects people at different rates, but I don't think giving officers that kind of discretion is a good idea.

    Finally, do you think blood alcohol level should be used to determine "drunk in public" offenses, and do you think the definition of intoxication for those situations should be higher...say something like .16 or similar. Since its rather easy not to be "drunk" to an obnoxious level it seems making it illegal to be in public with the current legal limit counter productive.
    I think as a general matter it makes sense that the level of intoxication should be higher for someone to be arrested simply for being out in public.

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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Quote Originally Posted by ??? View Post
    Hmm . . . I guess I can't answer this question because I don't really know what .08 is and how drunk one actually must be to hit that mark. I definitely don't think the limit should be so low that people effectively can't drink at all when they drive somewhere for dinner. But at least in my own experience, I wouldn't feel comfortable driving after three drinks or so.
    Blood Alcohol Content Calculator - The Police Notebook

    This might help. .08 is just over 2 beers in a short period of time, and just over 3 beers over an hour.
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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Blood Alcohol Content Calculator - The Police Notebook

    This might help. .08 is just over 2 beers in a short period of time, and just over 3 beers over an hour.
    I don't think that helps. In fact, I think it blurs the issue. The point isn't how much alcohol it takes to get to .08 -- the point is how much alcohol it takes to be impaired.

    virtually all drivers are substantially impaired at .08 BAC. Laboratory and on-road research shows that the vast majority of drivers, even experienced drivers, are significantly impaired at .08 with regard to critical driving tasks such as braking, steering, lane changing, judgment and divided attention. Decrements in performance for drivers at .08 BAC are on the order of 40-60% worse than when they are at .00 BAC. Research findings suggest that the most crucial aspect of impairment is the reduction in the ability to handle several tasks at once. This skill is precisely what driving a motor vehicle requires.
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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I don't think that helps. In fact, I think it blurs the issue. The point isn't how much alcohol it takes to get to .08 -- the point is how much alcohol it takes to be impaired.
    I don't argue the point you make, but was trying to give a concrete illustration to answer the question I posted. Most people can't relate to .08 BAC, but know what 3 beers in an hour makes them feel like. Yes, .08 will effect you, whether you know it or not and that is why I don't think changing the law is a good idea or needed. We have to set an arbitrary limit somewhere, and .08 seems like a good place. You can have a couple beers over dinner and be fine, but once it starts to impair you, it's time to draw the line.
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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Blood Alcohol Content Calculator - The Police Notebook

    This might help. .08 is just over 2 beers in a short period of time, and just over 3 beers over an hour.
    That is helpful, thank you. According to this, I think the current limit is on the generous side of acceptable. I wouldn't be too upset if it moved down to .07, or maybe even .06, but I don't think it should go any lower than that, and really I wouldn't advocate changing it at all.

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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    The research does suggest that .08 is a pretty good BAC to set the DUI charge at. And, I'd say that most policemen who would use discretion for those that are over this amount but appear to be able to drive, do so already.

    Now, I don't agree with laws that charge a person with a DUI if they are in an accident but have a blood alcohol level less than .08 unless there is some sort of proof that the person actually was impaired and/or driving erratically prior to the accident. I don't think that it is fair to say that someone with a BAC of .02 or .03 who gets hit by a car head on should be charged with a DUI. A person who was extremely tired or a brand new driver would never get charged with anything in such a case, so why should the person who has a legal BAC, even to drive, be charged? I realize that nothing is absolute, but it really isn't possible to know if that small effect on judgement at those low BACs actually was the cause of the accident or not. And DUIs are serious.

    As for being drunk in public, I don't really think this should be judged by BAC, but rather behavior. And, if there is a BAC limit that must be placed on it, it certainly should be a lot higher than .08.
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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    If the police are intelligent, sensitive, well trained, then, yes, they should have more descrection in these matters..
    IMO, they are the ones who should have a strong voice in this.
    And this is from an old drunk...lol....sober, 99.9% for 40 years.
    The "other" vote for me as well.

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    Re: Do you support changing the legal limit of intoxication

    Personally, I think you should restrict driving if there is *ANY* level of measurable drugs or alcohol in the system, if they blow anything above 0.0, fine them and above a certain limit, maybe 0.6 or 0.8, arrest them.
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