Will Drunk Driving Be Redefined in Texas?

How much alcohol in your blood is too much to drive safely? Nearly every state in the U.S., including Texas, lists .08 g/dL blood alcohol content (BAC) as per se drunk driving. Utah is currently the singular exception.

In 2018, Utah lowered its standard to .05 g/dL BAC. Now, a governmental agency is pushing for more states to follow suit. The question is: Will Texas lower its BAC?

Lower BAC and the NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently updated its safety guide, Countermeasures That Work. Among the new changes is a recommendation that all states lower their per se drunk driving limit to .05 g/dL BAC.

The recommendation to lower the limit is based on Utah’s results and those of other countries that made similar changes. The places that have tried it have seen reductions in fatal accidents. Some have also seen a drop in drivers with a BAC over the limit.

One Advantage of a Lower Legal Limit

Most people don’t know how many drinks, and of what kind, will give them a BAC of .08. It’s a wild guess for anyone who wants to drink a bit, but not too much to drive. A lower limit makes this guessing game simpler. If you’ve had any drinks recently, you’ll want someone else to do the driving.

The Scope of the Problem

Year after year, alcohol-impaired driving is responsible for around one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in the country. Stricter laws and changes in public attitudes toward drunk driving have worked in the past. From the early 80s to 2011, there was a steady decrease in these deadly accidents.

Progress has since stalled, however. The pandemic even saw a sizeable increase in these deadly accidents. The NHTSA is looking for new ways to regain momentum in preventing alcohol-related crashes.

A Cultural Shift

It’s hard to gauge whether this type of legislation would be approved around the country. But even if it isn’t popular now, proponents may find more success in the future. Alcohol consumption is dropping nationwide, and no group is abandoning the drinking culture faster than Gen Z.

If rejecting alcohol becomes a common position, legislation lowering the BAC limit for per se drunk driving will face weaker opposition. Cultural attitudes about drinking and driving have shifted dramatically over the decades. It’s possible they will shift even further in the coming years.

Help for Car Accident Victims in Texas

If you’ve been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident in Texas, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. At Ted B. Lyon & Associates, our skilled attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our Dallas firm today at 800-TedLyon or 800-833-5966.