NC bill attempts to lower blood alcohol limit to .05
Legislators in North Carolina are pushing for a bill that aims to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road and increase awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence. Currently, someone dies in an accident involving a drunk driver every 45 minutes in the US, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The proposed NC House Bill 148 seeks to lower the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05. You can view the submitted draft of Bill 148 here. In Short, this means the average female North Carolinian can only consume 1 to 2 drinks before being over the legal limit and the average male can only consume 2 or 3 beverages.
The reason for this bill, is that at .05, a person’s reaction time is reduced, and their inhibitions are lowered. This can affect a driver’s depth perception and make them underestimate the distance of the car in front of them.
Utah has already lowered its BAC to .05, and a federal study has shown a decrease in the rate of deadly crashes and a reduction in alcohol-related incidents. North Carolina hopes to achieve similar results by introducing this bill.
NC House Rep. Mike Clampitt introduced the bill, believing it could save North Carolinians thousands of dollars in hospital bills and insurance. However, the bill has faced objections mostly over money. Despite this, supporters of the bill, like Ellen Pitt with the Western NC Regional DWI Task Force, argue that it’s not about drinking but rather preventing people from hurting others by driving under the influence.
The proposed bill aims to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and make North Carolina’s roads safer for everyone. It is currently in committee, and if passed by the House, it will move on to the Senate. Supporters hope that this bill will serve as an example to other states and ultimately help reduce the number of drunk driving incidents across the US.