Will Lowering the Legal Drinking Limit in Texas Make a Difference?

As a state, Texas has one of the highest rates of recorded drinking and driving. For years, law enforcement and the Texas justice system have been trying to do something to reduce the numbers. This year, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) intends to lobby for more frequent sobriety checkpoints and to force any individual convicted of a DWI offense to use an ignition interlock.

Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggested that the states lower the legal drinking limit to 0.05 (from the present 0.08). The NTSB pointed out other nations have already taken such measures. In addition, recent studies show that some people are already impaired with a 0.07 BAC. Allegedly, when someone’s BAC is 0.05, the risk of involvement in an accident increases. More than 4 million people admit to drinking and driving. Lowering the legal limit could save up to 1,000 lives each year.

While it may make immediate sense to lower the legal drinking limit in Texas, note it took 21 years to change the legal limits to their current standards. Nonetheless, the change would provide a powerful starting point.

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