Proposed law could lower BAC to .05 in Michigan

Credit: Peter Forest/Getty Images

Credit: Peter Forest/Getty Images

A state lawmaker in Michigan is proposing to lower the drunken driving limit from .08  to .05.

Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, proposed the law hoping to prevent anyone who has had any alcohol from getting behind the wheel at any time.

"Drink or drive. Choose one. It should never be both," Hammoud told The Detroit News.

The bill, HB 4420-2, increases penalties for driving drunk. It would require ignition interlocks for anyone ever convicted of a DUI.

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While Hammoud, who says he does not imbibe, said the lower limit would make highways safer, a lawyer who has dealt with alcohol-related offenses for 22 years, said that will be the case.

"You and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that no one is drunk at .05," William Maze told The Detroit News. "It's stupid to even suggest it."

This isn’t the first time a lower BAC limit has been proposed.

The National Transportation Safety Board suggested to drop it to .05 in 2013. Mothers Against Drunk Driving did not endorse the plan.

Utah, however, did set the limit at .05 last year, NBC News reported in December. Hammoud has the support of MADD's national president, Helen Witty, who accompanied him at his news conference, announcing the lower limit, saying, "Research shows that critical driving skills are impaired at .05 BAC. significantly increasing the risk of a horrible, 100-percent preventable crash."

The NTSB has found that a driver with a .05 BAC can have some reaction issues when it comes to coordination, steering, emergency response and vision. But they're not sure of the full impact of the alcohol has on driving abilities. But the NTSB also said that a BAC of .02 can have decline in visual functions and may impact the ability to perform two tasks simultaneously.

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