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By Michael Arbeit
Founding Attorney

Lowering the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05 is a bill currently proposed in the New York Legislature. While the aim is to avoid traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers, this law makes it significantly more important for people accused of driving while intoxicated to consult with an experienced attorney. In this article, we will look at why lowering the legal blood alcohol limit makes consulting with a lawyer an even better idea than it already is. 

Lowered Limits

The proposed legislation would make consulting with a lawyer even more important. As stated above, a breath test is, more or less, a shortcut to a conviction. Lowering the legal limit from .08 to .05 will make it that much easier to convict people who are not actually impaired. Even if jurors were not told as a matter of law that they must convict someone with a blood alcohol level above a certain amount, there is no denying the CSI effect and the difficulties it poses. 

The CSI effect is when jurors give way too much credit to any evidence if it seems scientific. Suppose a person is arrested in Nassau County for driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. Even though they are perfectly safe to operate a car, they blow .05. The police are not able to present much evidence that this individual is impaired, but the jurors still convict. The reason for this would most likely be that the scientific evidence of the breath test convinced them of that person’s guilt.

People in favor of this law claim that reducing the legal limit will have the same effect on people killed by drunk drivers. While it is certainly unfortunate that traffic fatalities occur, the fact of the matter is that decreasing the legal limit also increases the chances that a person who is not impaired will be convicted of a DWI or DUI. Lawyers will, increasingly, be required to ensure that the rights of the people are protected. 

Contact Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. Today

Though this proposed bill aims to reduce traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers, it may inadvertently lead to the conviction of individuals who are not actually impaired. Consulting with an experienced DWI attorney becomes even more crucial for those accused of driving under the influence. 

If you are facing a DWI charge, do not hesitate to contact our skilled DWI defense attorney today to protect your rights.

About the Author
Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. is devoted to all Criminal Defense and  Traffic related matters.  Michael practices primarily in the Criminal and County (Supreme) Courts in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, Kings County, New York County and the Bronx County.  Michael is also licensed to practice law in the Federal Courts of the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) and the Southern District of New York (SDNY).
Posted in DWI