1-in-3 support tougher DUI punishments

May 23, 2013, 1:14 PM GMT+0

Most Americans are happy with current drunk driving laws - though a significant minority think punishments are too lenient.

Currently all states consider a driver to be criminally impaired if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of above .08%, but the National Transportation Safety Board has recently recommended that this be cut to .05%. Federal highway funds are dependent on state law enforcing the .08% BAC level, but Congress is also considering lowering this to .05% so that all states apply the lower level.

The latest research from YouGov shows that the vast majority of Americans believe that they regularly obey drink driving laws, with only 7% saying that they would generally drive after having three or more drinks. Currently a 150lbs male can drink three 12oz cans and be just under the limit, but under the proposed rules he would be guilty of a DUI.

Many have driven while drunk, however, with 23% saying that they have had three or more drinks before getting behind the wheel. 34% say that they have never driven after drinking.

43% of Americans think that current punishments for drunk driving are appropriate, while only 8% think that they are too harsh. 34% want to see tougher punishment for drunk drivers.

9,878 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Complete results are available here.

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