You may have heard the rumor that the NTSB is recommending that the legal limit be reduced from .08 to .05. It's true. A spokeswoman for the NTSB appeared on national television recommending that the legal limit be lowered. She cites reduced traffic fatalities since 1988 and concludes that the reduced traffic fatalities are due to the reduced BAC which has declined over the years from .15 all the way down to its present .08. However, this reasoning fails to take into account that cars have gotten much safer since then. Airbags are now standard, no car comes equipped with just a lap belt, cars now have computers that help with stability, and even our road are safer with many opposing lanes divided by New Jersey barriers.
The City of Mission has already adopted this .05 standard. The City of Mission has its own charge of driving while impaired for drivers testing between .05 and .08. It's the policy of the City not to abstract this conviction. In other words, they don't send the information to the State. However, there is a catch. If the legal limit is lowered in the future, any of these convictions based on a BAC above the .05 but below a .08 could be used as a prior conviction. Therefore, I have always refused to allow my clients in Mission to plead to the DWAI because it might be used against them in the future.
Many of us in the DUI field have been convinced that the government would continue to lower the BAC. It's certainly happened over the course of my career. And now, it looks like the federal government wants to lower the legal limit again. If you have a DUI in the City of Mission, or if you have a DWI between .05 and .08, don't take a diversion for this and don't plead guilty. Get a qualified DUI Attorney to fight your case. Don't make the mistake of letting this go on your record.