D.C. Mayoral Nominee Muriel Bowser Wants Lower Limit for DUI

Bill would reduce legal limit to .05 percent BAC

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Tom Sherwood reports on a proposal by council member and mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser that would penalize drivers with a .05 blood alcohol content. The current, national level is .08.

    Muriel Bowser, the Democratic nominee for mayor of D.C., wants the city to cut the legal limit for drunken driving nearly in half.

    Council member Bowser introduced a bill Tuesday that calls for the city to make a blood-alcohol concentration of .05 percent the legal threshold for drunken driving.

    The current limit is .08 percent in the District and all 50 states.

    "The intention is to make our roads safer," Bowser said.

    The National Transportation Safety Board recommended nearly a year ago that states lower their limits, saying that amount of alcohol significantly increases the risk of an accident. More than 100 countries have adopted the .05 standard.

    "European countries that have this limit saw a significant reduction in traffic fatalities," Bowser said.

    Bowser says "the district can lead on this issue.''

    Under her bill, your first offense in the .05 to .07 range is punished with a three-day license suspension. A second offense merits a seven-day suspension, and a third offense means a 30-day suspension.

    Leaders of the city's extensive hotel, restaurant and bar industry object to the bill, which they say could discourage city business.

    Mothers Against Drunk Driving says Bowser's bill might help, but it wants Bowser to go further and require ignition-lock devices for convicted drunken drivers, which is a requirement in 22 states so far.

    Bowser defeated Mayor Vincent Gray in last month's Democratic primary.