Michigan’s Drunk Driving Threshold Could Be Raised In October
Michigan boozehounds may soon have a little extra padding in the drunk driving laws to help protect them from receiving those pesky DUIs. That is because if state lawmakers do not make a decision fairly soon regarding the status of Michigan’s current blood alcohol threshold of .08 percent, the legal limit will automatically return to the .10 limit that the state adhered to prior to it being lowered in 2003.
Earlier last week, The House Criminal Justice Committee listened to the first wave of testimony surrounding House Bill 4093 and the first crucial vote on the matter is expected to be made sometime this week. If the bill passes through the Legislature, which is highly likely, the .08 drunk driving threshold will remain as is.
State law enforcement and organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers say that that lowering the legal limit to .08 is one of the main reasons there has been an overall decline in drunk driving accidents throughout the past 10-years – down about 30% since 2004. In addition, if lawmakers drop the ball and allow the legal limit to be raised, Michigan could stand to lose nearly $50 million in annual highway funding from the federal government.
Incidentally, in 2011, only 7% of the breathalyzer tests given in the state of Michigan involved drivers registering a BAC between .08-.09 percent, while a mind-blowing 87.8 percent blew at a level of .10 or higher. Clearly, there would be a lot less drunk driving arrests if the legal limit was allowed to revert back to the .10 level, but something tells us that the threat of the state losing millions of dollars in funding is a good reason to get in to the habit of drinking at home.
Note: If you are ever subjected to a breathalyzer, it is best to not mistake the device for a bottle of booze. (See video above)