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People Sign Waving On Hawai‘i Island. Signs Say "arrive Sober Today Stay Alive Tomorrow" And "let's Celebrate Safely."

Exploring the 0.05 BAC Initiative for the 2024 Legislative Session

The Hawai’i Alcohol Policy Alliance is gearing up for the 2024 legislative session with a renewed effort to create safer roads by lowering the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold for impaired driving from 0.08 to 0.05 BAC.

The 0.05 Saves Lives BAC initiative builds upon existing efforts to curb alcohol-impaired driving and enhance road safety. Currently, the legal BAC limit for drivers in Hawai‘i stands at 0.08. However, research has shown that significant driving impairment begins at 0.05 BAC, leading to a higher risk of crashes and fatalities. Advocates of the 0.05 BAC bill argue that lowering the legal limit will save lives and prevent alcohol-related crashes.

Supporters of the 0.05 BAC initiative emphasize several key arguments. First and foremost, they contend that a lower BAC limit will discourage individuals from consuming excessive amounts of alcohol before driving. By establishing a lower threshold for impaired driving, the initiative aims to create a stronger deterrent and promote a culture that separates drinking and driving. A statewide survey showed that 62% of Hawai‘i voters support lowering the BAC to 0.05.

Furthermore, research indicates that a 0.05 BAC limit can significantly reduce the risk of crashes. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, countries that have adopted the 0.05 BAC limit have witnessed a decline in alcohol-related crashes, and simply lowering the limit to 0.05 would reduce fatalities by an estimated 11%. This evidence serves as a compelling reason to implement the initiative in Hawai‘i, with the potential to save lives and prevent injuries.

Ultimately, the decision to adopt a lower BAC limit rests with the lawmakers, who must weigh the evidence, consider public opinion, and prioritize the safety of Hawai‘i residents. The ongoing discussion surrounding this initiative highlights the importance of addressing impaired driving and striving for safer roadways for all.

Chelsea Gonzales

Chelsea Gonzales

Statewide Coordinator (Hawaiʻi Alcohol Policy Alliance)
Rick Collins, MS

Rick Collins, MS

Director,
Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth
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