In New York, as in most of the rest of the country, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration while driving is 0.08%. If your BAC exceeds this limit, the law presumes that you are too drunk to drive. The legal limit has changed multiple times over the past several decades, and some lawmakers in New York state seek to lower it yet again. 

According to Spectrum Local News, two New York state lawmakers introduced a bill back in January that would lower the legal limit to 0.08% to 0.05%. The goal is to reduce injuries and deaths due to drunk driving. 

Why is 0.05 the new proposed legal limit? 

The recommendation for a 0.05% legal limit in all states came from the National Transportation Safety Board back in 2013. While a few states besides New York, such as Michigan, have considered lowering the limit since then, so far only Utah has gone so far as to pass legislation to do so officially. The 0.05% limit is also common in countries besides the U.S. 

What are the possible effects of lowering the legal limit? 

It is not entirely clear how a legal limit of 0.05% would affect the incidence of drunk driving accidents. However, studies analyzing accident data after lowering the limit in the past indicate that alcohol-related crashes decreased by 5% to 16%. 

When has the legal limit changed in the past? 

Over a period from 1983 to 2005, states across the country gradually adopted a legal limit of 0.08%. Prior to that, the legal limit was 0.10% in the 1960s and 1970s.