The State of Utah has recently and acted a law that lowered the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05. There has been some significant backlash at the enactment of this law. In fact, the American beverage Institute took out a full page advertisement in local newspapers comparing the new law to drivers who are older than 65. The advertisement also included 11 lawmakers were over the age of 65. See article here.
Some of the lawmakers were outraged and could not understand the comparison between the two. And that really is the problem. The national Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NTSA)provides a handbook for officers to determine if someone may be under the influence. The field sobriety exercises that we have all heard of are listed in the NTSA handbook. Some of these field sobriety exercises are physical in nature and as such the handbook states that certain individuals over 65 years of age may have difficulty performing the tests.
However, earlier editions of the standardized field sobriety testing student manuals from NHTSA contain much stronger language, such as the following: “Certain individuals are likely to have trouble with this test even when sober. People over 60 often have very poor balance. (Since very few elderly people are stopped at roadside, specific guidelines have not been established for them on this test.)….In administering the test, make sure the suspects eyes are open and there is adequate lighting for him to have some frame of reference… In total darkness, the One-Leg Stand is difficult even for sober people.”
The October 1995 manual advises that some people have difficulty with balance even when sober. While the October 1995 manual advises that the test criteria for the Walk and Turn is not necessarily valid for suspects 65 years of age or older, persons with injuries to their legs, or persons with inner ear disorders and individuals who cannot see out of one eye may also have trouble with this test because of poor depth perception, the current manual states only that the original research indicated that individuals over 65 years of age, back, leg, or middle ear problems had difficulty performing this test.
While being 65 is not a crime and may not have any effect on your driving. There is a correlation between a reduced blood alcohol level at .05 and someone’s ability to do field sobriety exercises as someone who is 65 years of age performing the same exercises.
To fully understand the consequences of a DUI go here.

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