Two recent stories in The News repeat errors frequently made by the media about alcohol-related driving. One referred to the "legal blood-alcohol limit," said to be .10. The other referred to a driver's blood-alcohol reading as being "well above the 0.10 percent legal limit in drunken-driving cases."
New York's Vehicle & Traffic Law does not contain a "legal limit." The repeated use of this language by newspapers, magazines, radio and television has led the public to believe otherwise.
Section 1195 of the Vehicle & Traffic Law gives meaning to blood-alcohol test results for trial purposes. There are no percentages that are evidence of intoxication. Readings of .06 to .09 are evidence of driving while impaired by alcohol.
The Vehicle & Traffic Law does not define either driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired and does not explain the difference between these two separate offenses.
WILLIAM J. OSTROWSKI