New bill may lower maximum BAC level for California drivers

Earlier this year, Utah adopted a new law lowering the maximum blood alcohol content for drivers to .05, the lowest in the country. A new California bill may mean the same thing for California.

Autumn Burke, state Assemblywoman from Marina Del Rey, recently introduced Assembly Bill 1713, known as Liam’s Law that would reduce the maximum BAC for California drivers from .08 to .05. Lawmakers believe that this new law could result in 1,000 fewer DUI deaths per year. The bill will be debated in the Assembly Public Safety Committee in the next few weeks.

While it may not seem like a major difference, the lowered BAC can have a significant impact on the number of drinks a driver can have before driving home. The National Transportation Safety Board says that men who weigh 240 pounds or less can generally have a maximum of three drinks, while women who weigh 240 pounds or less can generally have a maximum of two drinks, to stay under the .05 limit. Drivers who are stopped for routine traffic violations may be asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests, if the officer has probable cause to believe they are under the influence of alcohol.

Drivers that have been arrested for a DUI can face a number of consequences if convicted. Even first-time offenders can face months of jail time, license suspension and alcohol education and/or treatment programs. Drivers may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles or may lose their vehicles all together. A criminal defense attorney can assist with your case and could reduce your sentence or help get your charges dropped entirely.