LOWERING DUI LEGAL LIMIT: 0.05% - SET BY STATES
As we know, States set their own legal BAC limits, but the federal government is able to gain compliance of the State by tying it to federal funding. If a State declines that which the federal government is selling, the State loses out on receiving federal highway safety funds. Based on this principle, since 2004 all of the 50 states have adopted a legal limit of 0.08%. This was at the urging of both MADD and the NTSB.
Regarding the issue, Ms. Lightner has stated that "Years ago, I wasn't really hot on .08," said Lightner, who left MADD in 1985. "I didn't think it would be enforceable and that it would work, and I've heard it isn't being enforced. But we're at .08 now, so I'm going to say leave it there." According to many news sources, MADD's current leadership has indicated that it will not actively push to lower the legal blood alcohol limit, which the NTSB believes could save 1,000 lives a year.
Regarding lowering the limit to 0.055, Lightner has also indicated that "Running around trying to arrest everyone at .05 is impractical.” Further, that “Police and prosecutors she spoke with said the lower limit would be ‘very hard to prosecute,’" in part because many of those drivers would pass the field sobriety tests, leaving only subjective evidence of impairment.”
After leaving MADD, Ms. Lightner became critical of the group she helped build into a national activist organization, referring to it as "neo-prohibitionist," But she now claims that disagreement has ended. "I believe they're off that kick," Ms. Lightner said. "It was a long, long time ago. Unfortunately the Internet has a habit of keeping old comments alive."