Sober People Now Too Drunk to Drive in New York State

“If you’re reading this in New York, you’re probably too drunk to drive” reports USA Today.

Under new legislation, it is now illegal to drive a motor vehicle in New York state with any measurable alcohol in the body. Even endogenous alcohol (alcohol produced naturally in the body of any and everyone) can be illegal.

That’s because legislators accidentally got too tough with a new get-tough anti-drunken-driving bill in which they established a standard for ”aggravated driving while intoxication” below the amount that can occur naturally in the body.
Instead of setting the level at the intended 0.18 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), they set the limit at 0.18 grams. That’s an amount of alcohol “so low you can’t even measure it,” according to a spokesperson for the New York State Police.

Legislators are expected to correct the mistake when they convene next year. In the meantime, alcohol abstainers can be arrested and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated.


  • Heath, Brad. Small mistakes cause big problems. USA Today, November 20, 2006; Craig, Gary. DWI bill may spell trouble. Democrat and Chronicle, November 4, 2006.

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