Bill to lower drunk driving threshold moves forward in state Senate

The insanity defense kept Michael Armstrong out of prison for previous crimes, but now he's charged with a murder after an attack outside a police substation.
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 7:59 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A proposal to drop the threshold for drunk driving down to 0.05% is moving in the state Senate.

The current threshold for a DUI conviction is 0.08% blood alcohol content.

A federal study in Utah found a significant drop in fatal accidents with a lower limit, but the measure is still controversial.

“When you look at a 100-pound woman who drinks one or two drinks that that would put her at 0.05%. We are saying that does not mean you are impaired to the point that it needs to be criminalized,” said Sara Haley of the Public Defender’s Office.

Meanwhile, supporters said the bill can improve safety on the roadways.

“I am constantly explaining to friends of mine who like to drink that this is not a bill to limit your ability to drink, it’s limiting your ability to drink and drive,” said Maui Councilmember Kelly King.

The senate judiciary committee approved the bill Friday on a 5-to 2 vote.

If approved in both Houses, Hawaii would be the second state to adopt the 0.05% threshold.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.