From .10 to .08: The Evolution of Texas’ Blood Alcohol Limit
There was a time in Texas when you could be extremely drunk and it was legal.
We're not talking Pioneer Days either.
Teenagers were once allowed to buy alcohol. The legal age limit to buy alcohol in Texas was 18 years of age. In 1979 the legal age was raised to 19 and in 1984 it was raised to what it is still today and that is 21 years of age to purchase alcohol.
However, when it came to being drunk or even driving drunk the legal limit in Texas used to be .10.
Yes, that was the legal limit.
Most people are beyond drunk by the time their BAC reaches .10.
On September 1, 1999, Texas adopted a new law to lower the BAC to .08.
Many factors were taken into consideration for the change. According to a journal article in Alcohol and Alcoholism, Volume 41, Issue 2, March/April 2006. Texas was ranked among the highest in alcohol-related traffic fatalities. The numbers were shocking, 1573 Texas motorists were killed in alcohol-involved crashes in 1998. That was 600 more than California that year.
Along with those statistics and because of advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Students Against Drunk Driving, the law in Texas was passed.
A year later, President Clinton signed the Department of Transportation's Appropriations Act. This stated that all states must enact the .08 BAC per se laws by 2004 or lose federal highway construction funding.
There has been interest in Texas about lowering the BAC to .05
According to the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute, in 2018, 60% of Texans surveyed supported lowering the BAC to .05. In the same survey in the National findings, 48% of Texans would support a legal BAC limit of 0%.
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