5.31.2013

Lowering the Blood-Alcohol Level in Nevada

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that the 0.08 blood-alcohol content(BAC) “per se” limit be lowered to 0.05.

Alcohol Level

That would now place many law abiding residences and tourists in Las Vegas at risk of getting a DUI.  In fact, as the law stands and has, one can be convicted with a BAC even much lower than a 0.05 under the impairment theory.

Under the impairment theory, prosecutors would have to prove from the totality of the circumstances that the alcohol or substance(s) rendered you incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of the vehicle.  Some observations to prove impaired driving would be: failing to maintain your lane, failing to signal, unsafe lane change, and any other facts that would suggest you did not safely operate your vehicle.

When law enforcement can simply rely on a “per se” limit, which currently stands at .08 for most motorists, the argument that the person who was operating a vehicle safely at this limit is not a complete defense if the stop was proper.

If the limit is lowered to 0.05, many people who are operating a vehicle safely and who are currently driving around at under 0.08, would now become at risk for getting a DUI.

Advocacy and law enforcement actively looking for signs of impairment could saves lives however, to lower the “per se” limit to 0.05 will just label many safe drivers, as criminals.

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