The debate over who is too drunk to drive

Each day, an average of 29 people die from car crashes caused by drunk drivers. There may be fewer such crashes on roads in Minnesota and throughout America by lowering the legal blood alcohol content limit to .05 percent. This is according to the National Traffic Safety Board, which has suggested lowering the legal limit from its current .08 percent. Research from the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute found that 55 percent of Americans agree with that idea.

Furthermore, 44 percent said that the legal limit should be .00 percent. However, others say that lowering the limit could turn those who drink responsibly into criminals. This was among the concerns expressed when Utah decided to lower its legal blood alcohol limit to .05 percent for 2019.

The use of ignition interlock devices could be another way to help reduce or prevent drunk driving crashes. Of those surveyed by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute, 84 percent said that interlock devices should be mandatory for those who have been convicted of drunk driving. A majority of those surveyed also said that drivers who use them voluntarily should be entitled to lower auto insurance premiums. Enacting these or other suggestions could change attitudes toward drunk driving, and it may take a coalition of law enforcement and the public to make a lasting change on the road.

A person who is charged with DWI could face a variety of criminal penalties. For instance, an alleged offender could spend time in jail or pay fine. It may also be possible to lose a drivers license on a temporary or permanent basis. However, an attorney can help a defendant obtain a favorable outcome in a drunk driving case.