Will Californians vote to lower blood alcohol limit for DUI?


Bella Huyler ('19) sits with a police officer in the Every Fifteen Minutes simulation held Thursday, February 28, reminding teens of the horrors that come with drinking and driving.

Nidhi Patel, Page Editor

Driving under the influence has been a problem all over the world. Countries have begun cracking down on the amount of alcohol allowed in a person while they are driving. In the United States, the current blood- alcohol limit is at 0.8 percent. However, in California, lawmakers have proposed a new bill (AB 1713) that proposes that the new blood-alcohol limit should be decreased to 0.5 percent. People who support this bill claim that the current blood-alcohol content is too high and leave more drivers impaired. This has lead to an increase in the number of car crashes. Therefore, decreasing the blood-alcohol level to 0.5 will help decrease the number of crashes and cause people to be more aware of how much they drink, before they drive. States like Utah and Texas have already implemented the 0.5 percent blood-alcohol limit.

Students at Amador have a variety of opinions on whether or not the blood-alcohol limit should be lowered from 0.8 to 0.5 percent. Some believe that this new bill will provide great benefits for California.

“Yes they should pass this because we learn too often about how teenagers die of accidents rather than natural causes and one of the major causes is being intoxicated with not only alcohol but also drugs. So I believe that if the rate is lower, it would encourage people to be more careful with their actions and decisions with alcohol,” said Serena Lin (‘21).

Others believe that this bill won’t really help lower accident rates.

“I disagree with this bill because I don’t see a point. Usually the only people caught driving drunk are those who are way over 0.5 and driving crazily, but if you lower the limit, if someone gets pulled over for something minor their punishment will be way larger if they are found to be even a tiny bit drunk even though the drinking wasn’t the reason for their bad driving,” explained Nikolina Bilik (‘19).

“I feel like changing these alcohol-related laws won’t have an effect, because we see that no matter what programs are implemented, does not really have an impact. None of the DUI rates go down, so this bill wouldn’t change much,” said Vanshaj Singhania (‘19).

This is just a new bill that has been proposed, so the outcome is not guaranteed. Whether or not the bill of lowering the blood-alcohol limit to 0.5 percent is passed, the end goal of lawmakers is simply to make California a safer place.

What is known is that you should never drink and drive no matter how ‘little’ alcohol is your system, as the consequences could be deadly to yourself or someone else.

Please check out this year’s Amador Valley Every 15 Minutes – (be prepared to grab the tissues).