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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lowering the Blood Alcohol Limit to .05% for suspected DUI Drivers

By: Nashville DUI Lawyer David Ridings

So... it is all over the news of late. Lowering the "legal limit" from .08% to .05%. But is it a good idea?
Will the new trend sweep the nation? More specifically, will Tennessee lower the Blood Alcohol Limit to .05% for suspected DUI drivers?
The answer may just likely be... "yes". In any event... the answer should be just around the corner.
I would expect a Bill to be introduced on the floor of the Tennessee House and/or Senate addressing just that issue... and I expect it very soon.

Now, what is the likelihood that it will pass? And, what is the likely "effect" it will have on the community (good and/or bad).

I have been in this business since the late 1980's, and I have been on every side. I have almost a decade of experience as a police officer and made hundreds if not thousands of arrests (many of which were for DUI). Followed by a short stay at the District Attorney's Office prosecuting cases, including DUI. And, I have been practicing law for almost 15 years at this point, and my primary focus is DUI Defense law. But, as "jaded" as some think I may be, I think personally I am well "rounded" on my opinion. I have seen the negative effects first-hand as a police officer. I have watched as someone literally died in front of me as a result of drinking and driving. But the "legal limit" in my humble opinion would not have changed that death.

When I started the police force making DUI arrests, the Blood Alcohol Limit that created a "legal presumption" of intoxication was 0.10%.
Not long ago, the Tennessee legislature voted in a law that "lowered" that legal limit to .08%. When they did that... did it "really" lower the number of deaths caused by intoxicated drivers?
There are arguments on both sides of that issue. But, personally, I do not think that it did.

I also do not think that lowering the limit to .05% will make a difference in the number of related deaths, although I can see the argument.

What it WILL do is this... It will lead to MANY more arrests. And, I think it will lead to arrests of persons that do not even "appear" intoxicated, based solely on the "smell" of an intoxicant. (Even though the smell of an intoxicant is in no way attributable to the level of intoxication).

While I certainly do not advocate for drinking and driving... I do advocate for the constitutional rights of citizens of this great country.

Look at the number of DUI arrests today. In Davidson County, alone, there are nearly 5000 DUI arrests each year. If the limit is lowered to .05%, you can expect that number to nearly double in my opinion.
And, when that happens, the justice system that prosecutes DUI offenses could nearly grind to a hault. It will most certainly bog the system down considerably.

All I can say for certain is this...
Life is about to be very good for a DUI lawyer.

What do you think?

Should you be charged with a DUI... you need EXPERIENCE. Contact Nashville DUI Attorney David Ridings today for a free consultation.