KOB News: Lowering Drunk Driving Limit | Parnall Law Firm

"Speaker 1:
Eyewitness News 4 at 6:30.

Tessa Mentus:
And we begin at 6:30 with a conversation about the drunk driving problem in our state. Lawmakers are looking to crack down during this year's session. And one of our neighboring states has taken things a step further, by lowering the drunk driving limit. So could other states follow suit? Here's our Kai Porter to explain. Kai?

Kai Porter:
Tessa, to be clear, no lawmakers here in New Mexico are currently proposing that. But last year, lawmakers in Utah lowered the blood alcohol content limit from 0.08 to 0.05. And now a new national study released Wednesday is recommending that all states do the same thing. According to a new study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, scientists are now recommending all states lower the standard 0.08 blood alcohol content limit to 0.05 to prevent the 10,000 drunk driving deaths in the US each year.

Bert Parnall:
On lowering the blood alcohol content, a presumptive level of intoxication from 0.08 to 0.05, Mothers Against Drunk Driving takes no position on that.

Kai Porter:
Burt Parnall, spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving New Mexico says MADD does take a position on enforcing the current anti DWI laws on the books in our state like interlock devices.

Bert Parnall:
Which includes more high visibility law enforcement, including sobriety checkpoints, including more officers out there enforcing the laws that do exist.

Kai Porter:
According to this study's new recommendation, a 150 pound man could be over the 0.05 limit after two beers. And a 120 pound woman could be over the limit after a single drink. Parnall says MADD New Mexico is focused on preventing drunk driving period.

Bert Parnall:
Lowering the presumptive level of intoxication to 0.05, I just wanted to be clear that as I understand it, you know, as a lawyer and a spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, even somebody who's at a 0.05 can be charged with drunk driving. It's just not that it's not presumed that they are impaired, but if there is evidence of impairment, 0.05 could still lead to charge and some drunk driving while intoxicated.

Kai Porter:
And as for Utah, the new law lowering the drunk driving limit to 0.05 does not go into effect until December 30th this year. And by the way, it faced a lot of opposition in that state. For example, restaurant groups said it will hurt tourism. Tessa back to you right."

Lawmakers look to lower drunk driving blood alcohol content limit. Special interview featuring Bert Parnall, Albuquerque attorney and spokesperson for MADD New Mexico.


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