Proposal would lower blood-alcohol content limit in CT

Push to lower CT's legal blood alcohol level
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 5:40 AM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2023 at 12:21 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - State lawmakers and advocates gathered Thursday to support a state Senate bill that would lower Connecticut’s blood-alcohol content level from .08 to .05.

Lawmakers said the aim was to reduce deadly crashes from to impaired driving.

Supporters of the bill participated in an event Thursday at the State Capitol’s Hall of Flags at 10 a.m.

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board and Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization joined lawmakers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Connecticut ranked fourth for the “highest percentage of fatal accidents caused by drunk driving” at 41 percent. The national average was 30 percent.

In 2020, there were 123 alcohol-related deaths from crashes on Connecticut roads.

That was one of the reasons for the push of [Senate Bill] 1082, an initiative to lower the state’s legal BAC limit to curb roadway fatalities.

The federal limit to legally drive in the United States is .08.

According to the National Library of Medicine, that equated to roughly four drinks in two hours for a 170-pound man, or three drinks in that same time frame for a woman who weighed 137 pounds.

The exact effects of alcohol differ depending on the person.

Supporters of the bill said they want all drivers to rethink getting behind the wheel with any level of impairment.

“Although alcohol-impaired fatalities have decreased nationally, in Connecticut, there’s been a third highest rate of alcohol-impaired fatalities in the nation,” said Joe Cristalli, program coordinator, CT Highway Safety Office. “We know that driving drunk is a problem and we know that there are solutions.”

Drunk driving penalties differ from state to state.

The goal of this bill is to reduce fatal crashes due to impaired driving.