Since the tragic crashes in September that resulted in hospitalizations of cyclists in VT and deaths in NH, many of you have contacted the VBPC to express support for legislation that would address the major problem of impaired driving in Vermont.
We now are asking you to send a brief email message to the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bill Lippert, via WLippert@leg.state.vt.us to express your strong support for two bills that will help provide important protections to bicyclists and pedestrians.
H.707 lowers the current blood alcohol content (BAC) limit from .08 to .05. The U.S. is well behind the curve as most other nations have recognized the wisdom of the change and have adopted the .05 limit. Note that this legislation is not designed to prevent someone from having a beer or a glass of wine with dinner. On average, one beer or one glass of wine would raise blood alcohol content to .02 and would be "cleared" by the body in about one hour.
H.501 creates a uniform standard of impairment so that motorists who are driving impaired due to prescription or over-the-counter drugs will be treated by statute in the same manner as motorists who are driving impaired due to consumption of alcohol.
Both of the above bills will provide law enforcement officers with helpful tools to keep impaired drivers from Vermont's roadways, will deter some citizens from making poor choices, will draw attention to the growing problem of impaired driving in this state, and will offer additional protections for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Thank you for emailing WLippert@leg.state.vt.us to say you would like the House Judiciary Committee to take up these two bills and pass them out of the Committee. Please be sure to provide your full name, the name of the town where you reside, and why these bills are important to you.