The statistics are highly misleading
A resounding "No!" to California lowering its alcohol threshold for DUI to .05.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 10,000 people die each year in alcohol-related traffic accidents and if all states lowered their blood alcohol content limits to .05 percent (California is at .08 percent), 500-800 lives would be saved each year.
A 200-pound man hits .05 with two glasses of wine over one hour. A 120-pound female would be there with one glass.
The government use of its statistics is highly misleading.
If the law-enforcement officer "believes" the driver, passenger or non-motorist (such as a pedestrian or pedal cyclist) has a BAC of .01 percent or greater, it is classified as an "alcohol-related" accident. No test is needed.
The term does not indicate a collision or fatality was caused by the presence of alcohol. Also, an average 60 percent of the BACs are missing or unknown in the government database. So the government simulates the data, i.e., they are not using actual data.
We should not base public policy, especially when it involves criminal or severe civil penalties, on highly questionable reasoning.
Not logical to make the change
Before we give the government more control over our lives, one question should be answered: How many of the 10,000 deaths caused by drunk drivers each year are committed by drivers with a blood alcohol .08 percent or lower?
If there aren't any or a very few, what would reducing it to .05 percent accomplish, other than arresting people coming home after a glass of wine with dinner?
I'm sure it will pass in California, no matter what the facts are. We love the government to take care of us -- for our own good, of course.
Strictly enforce current limit
The current level of .08 percent is adequate. Most serious motor vehicle accidents and fatalities are caused by drivers substantially over a blood alcohol level of 1 percent.
To go to .05 percent will cause otherwise law-abiding folks who have a glass or two of wine with dinner at their favorite local restaurant to possibly being classified DUI. That would not only be patently unfair, but would affect their wallets and, possibly, their reputations.
And for what? The resulting pressure on our already jammed-up court system could be horrendous. Does local government really want this? And perish the thought this reduced limit be another source of revenue.
None of this makes sense. Instead, let's have better enforcement of the current limit of .08 and have much more severe penalties for those going over that level. Pull drunk drivers' licences. Jail those who drive without a license.
Have no mercy on those who drive drunk, for they are as bad as many of the vilest criminals. But let's agree that a level of .05 is not drunk.
The DUI system is flawed
Lowering the DUI threshold will benefit the courts, the Department of Motor Vehicles, DUI attorneys, the auto insurance industry, and all others in this wealth redistribution scheme.
The system, as is, or as proposed, is fundamentally flawed. Individuals do not metabolize alcohol equally. The main flaw in the DUI system is that the DMV administratively punishes without the accused having a trial.
This proposal is another example of how government searches for the guilty and then punishes the innocent.