If you're a bit older, you may remember the time when each state had its own blood alcohol limit for drunk driving. You may even remember a time when it was more commonly .10, which is significantly higher than the standard .08 that is used today.
Well, get ready, because the landscape is changing once again for drivers and the rules may soon be even more restrictive. Utah has just become the first state to drop its blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers down to .05.
If you're planning on traveling in that area any time soon, here's how that roughly breaks down: A 200-pound man will be over the limit after just two drinks. A 100-pound woman will be legally "too drunk to drive" after just one alcoholic drink.
Lest you think Utah is a total outlier and you don't have to worry about this news here in Florida if you aren't heading that way, there are four other states that have already started to consider dropping the BAC limit to .05, including Washington, Hawaii, Delaware and New York. In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been recommending that all states take the plunge and make a .05 BAC the point at which a driver is declared legally impaired. Florida and the rest of the nation may not be very far behind.
This change is a reflection of the growing understanding that there's really no safe amount of alcohol in a driver's system. No matter how little you've ingested, alcohol is a mind-altering substance. It slows reaction times and impairs judgment -- and that's just not something that anyone should risk. These days, there's less reason than ever to get behind the wheel after having a few. People are better educated about the effects of alcohol in the first place and Uber and Lyft are literally a few taps on a phone away.
If you do make a mistake and end up arrested for drunk driving, don't leave your future to chance. Talk to an experienced defense attorney right away.