How a Lower Blood Alcohol Limit Law Could Affect NYC Pedestrians

How a Lower Blood Alcohol Limit Law Could Affect NYC Pedestrians

In recent news, lawmakers have discussed the idea of reducing the legal blood alcohol limit in New York. The current blood alcohol limit is 0.08, but Senator John Liu has presented the idea of lowering that number to 0.05 to keep more drunk drivers off the road in our state.

Not only would such a change affect intoxicated drivers pulled over by NYC police officers, but also innocent pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists involved in accidents. Your local drunk driving accident lawyer, Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, addresses this topic regarding injured accident victims.

 What Is a Blood Alcohol Limit?

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the amount of alcohol that is present in a person’s blood due to drinking alcoholic beverages. A totally sober person will have a BAC of 0.0 percent, legal intoxication is 0.08 percent, severe impairment is between 0.08 and 0.4, and anything above this level puts a person at significant risk of coma or death.

BAC is used in police investigations, court cases, and employment verification. In medical settings, it is used to check for alcohol poisoning and to monitor a person’s progress with alcohol use disorder treatment.

 Pros and Cons of Reducing the Limit

Assemblywoman Jo Ann Simon has joined Senator Liu to advocate lowering the threshold for a person to be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New York. At this time, drivers who produce a BAC test result between 0.05 and 0.08 are typically charged with lesser penalties than those with levels of 0.08 or higher, if convicted. However, there have been increasing deaths due to drinking and driving lately, prompting lawmakers to take a tougher stance.


So far, only the state of Utah has reduced the BAC limit to 0.05. However, other states, such as Washington and Hawaii, are also considering lowering their limits. The arguments for reducing limits address public safety and preventing harm, while arguments against limit reductions highlight individual liberty objections and the culture of responsible social drinking.

Alcohol and Personal Injury Accidents

Unfortunately, as a Brooklyn personal injury law firm, we see many accident cases involving alcohol. Many types of cases that we handle can include alcohol as a contributing factor, including automobile accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, slip and falls, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful deaths.

Whether individuals are behind the wheel of a vehicle, riding a bike, or walking on the street, alcohol can cloud judgment, lead to risky decisions, and put other people at risk of harm. The value of your legal case may be affected if alcohol was a contributing factor in your accident, which is why an experienced DUI accident lawyer is helpful in this situation.

Were You Injured By A Drunk Driver?

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles reports that a third of New York road fatalities involve drivers or pedestrians who are impaired or intoxicated. If New York state law changes to lower the blood alcohol level to 0.05, will fewer accidents occur and fewer people suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence?

If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident and suffered injuries, the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum can help.  Please contact us today online or by phone at 718-237-5586 for a free legal consultation.