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DUI law revision meets surprising opposition in South Carolina

For several years now, the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration among motorists has been 0.08 percent throughout the country. Within the last year, however, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the limit should be lowered to 0.05 percent. This proposition has become the subject of discussion among law enforcement and public safety officials in South Carolina.

The NTSB notes that coordination and reaction time are both affected when most drivers register 0.05 percent on a blood-alcohol test. At the current legal limit, drivers exhibit memory and concentration problems.

Given the effect that alcohol can have on drivers even below the 0.08 percent limit, it would make sense that public officials would be in support of a change. After all, anything that could help protect the interests and safety of the public would be a worthy move, right?

Interestingly enough, some officials in law enforcement have raised skepticism about making changes to the law. Keeping this in mind, a change to state law may not come in the near future. However, if federal officials tie funding to the status of drunk driving laws, then action might be taken as it has in the past.

Regardless of legal limits, public safety officials still stress the idea is that even one drink can cause impairment. As such, they assert that people should avoid driving no matter how much -- or how little -- alcohol they've consumed.

Regardless of if or how criminal law in South Carolina shifts in regard to driving under the influence, drivers are responsible for their conduct when in control of a motor vehicle. In fact, it may be possible to pursue civil action in the wake of an accident even if criminal charges aren't filed.

Source: WMBF News, "Federal agency wants to lower DUI limit to .05, SC authorities disagree," Paula Caruso, July 1, 2014

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