Michigan DUI standard from .08 to .05

- 9/16/2019

       Image result for picture of someone being arrested DUI      
  A Michigan lawmaker hopes to make people think twice about having a drink and getting behind the wheel. A proposed law would lower the DUI standard from .08 to .05.

If passed, Michigan would be the second state in the country to have that low a limit, something the author of this legislation says has been proven to save lives. Utah is currently the only state with a limit at .05, and that just went into effect a few months ago.

If you drink and get behind the wheel, an arrest could be in your future. One Michigan legislator is hoping to lower the legal limit to .05.                                                    "The research and the evidence is overwhelming," Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-15th District, said. "At .05 individuals are impaired, and at .05 to .07, you are seven times more likely to get into a car accident."

Hammoud made two proposals. The first is to lower the legal limit. The second is to add an interlock device to anyone’s vehicle on their first conviction of drunk driving.

Currently, the state only adds this device to those convicted of super drunk driving, which is a blood alcohol level at a level of .17 or greater.

"The science is there," said Hammoud. "The research is there. That these measures will save lives. We put these preventative measures in place, we can reduce the amount of fatalities we have due to drunk drivers."

So how much could someone drink before being above .05? Dr. Michael Eggebrecht, a family physician, said it just depends on the individual.

"Some people will have very minimal impact," said Eggebrecht. "But other people will have impact on their coordination or their attention, or processing, or even just thinking. Even some judgement can be impaired, but it depends on the individual."

Factors such as weight, height, and how much food they’ve eaten could all affect the impact, but Eggebrecht said even one drink can start to slow response times.

"Granted one drink probably won’t push you up to that .05 or .08 limit," said Eggebrecht. "However, even at .01, you’re going to see some impact on coordination or attention, so even one drink can impact your ability."

Hammoud agrees that instead of focusing on how much drinking you can get away with, don't drive after you've had any drinks at all.

"The thousands of lives we have lost to drunk driving, this is about making our roads safe," said Hammoud. "This is about changing behavior so that we push for behaviors that say either drink or drive, never do both."

Hammoud told us that the .05 standard is actually very common in many European countries.

The legislation was just introduced last week. The next step is to go before the judiciary committee for testimony.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 http://wsbt.com/news/local/proposed-law-would-lower-michigan-dui-standard-from-08-to-05