Lloyd S. Gastwirth, Attorney
DWI Attorney The Buzz About Buzzes
For the longest time, we have been hearing and watching public service announcements that remind us, urge us, scare us (rightfully so) into not driving drunk. However, now, the question about driving “buzzed” has come into the conversation.
Consider that the Ad Council has been running a series of TV and radio ads recently aimed at driving home the message that driving “buzzed” is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Consider that the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for all states to lower their threshold for intoxication from a 0.8 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.5 BAC.
The issue at hand is the scientifically-proven fact that any alcohol consumption adversely affects the human central nervous system. It results in slower reflexes, impaired vision and questionable judgment.
Let’s look at it in more real terms: a 180-pound man could drink four beers in one hour, achieve a 0.63 BAC and still not be considered drunk. Do you really want to ride with him in his vehicle? Or worse—would you want it to be one of your family members behind the wheel?
According to a study by the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation, “buzzed” drivers, (those with a BAC between 0.1 and 0.7), were involved in an estimated 3,600 crashes that killed 327 and injured 4,000. So, yes, there is reason to be concerned about buzzed driving, and yes, one could make a case for lowering the legal intoxication measurement.
As for legal consequences to the survivors? Whether it’s buzzed or intoxicated driving, Texas state laws are harsh. Minors, which is anyone under 21, found with any alcohol in their blood will, at minimum, be fined, be required to take specific training and be facing license suspension. Adults can face up to $2,000 in fines, jail time anywhere between 3 and 180 days, the possible installation of an ignition interlock device, and license suspension for up to two years. If injury or death occurs as a result of the incident, expect the consequences to grow exponentially.
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Regardless of what the legal limit is, the Lloyd S. Gastwirth Law Firm urges all its clients to be safe and healthy, to make wise decisions regarding their futures, and to avoid drinking and driving. We’ll be here for those who find themselves in that predicament…but we’d much rather you be at home with your family.