Once upon a time, the law in Ohio created a presumption that a driver was impaired with a .15 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Then the law changed and created a “per se” violation of the law at a .10 BAC. It has since been reduced a legal limit of a .08 BAC. The NHTSA Manual for DWI Detection states that a 175 man would need to drink 4 beers in an hour to reach the current legal limit. This has been the frame of reference for people across the nation when making the decision of whether to get behind the wheel.

A new 489 page report by a panel of the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is recommending that the legal limit be lowered to a .05 BAC. The report is asserting that driver’s are too impaired to drive if they have a BAC of .05. The State of Utah has already lowered the legal limit to .05. The ramifications of such a change are shaking up the restaurant and bar industries. The business concern is that a woman weighing 120 lbs. could exceed the legal limit with only having one drink. A 150lb. man might only be able to have two drinks. The allegation that a person has committed an OVI offense alone risks a life changing offense that might end their career, keep them from travelling out of the country, or possible public shaming with scarlet letter-esque yellow license plates.

The State has some serious lobbies to overcome in order to change the legal limit in Ohio, but because being the victim of a drunk driver is a concern of law makers and their constituents, it is a real possibility that the legal limit will get lowered to .05 in Ohio. For DUI cases however, the ability to prove such an offense will be handicapped. The field sobriety tests everyone is familiar with, walking on a line and standing on one leg, have not been verified to be applicable to such a low legal limit. Officers and courts will have a difficult task to determine who should or should not be arrested. Whatever the legal limit is, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc. will be able to work at the cutting edge of the law on your behalf.