Skip to comments.How drunk is drunk? Officers want state's legal limit lowered (Texas)
Posted on 10/09/2010 7:48:37 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd
SAN ANTONIO -- How drunk is drunk? Some police officers in Texas want a newly revised definition.
Currently, the blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher is considered to be under the influence, but one police chief wants to lower that number and change the legal limit.
KENS 5 talked to drivers about the proposed new law and we observed a varied reaction.
The next time you are at the bar or perhaps at a sporting event enjoying a casual cocktail, you may want to think twice about drinking that alcoholic beverage before planning to drive.
"I guess if I got pulled over and had one drink, I would be pretty upset about it," said driver and moderate social drinker April Brown.
The national standard is 0.08, but Austin's Police Chief Art Acevedo is pushing state lawmakers to allow officers to arrest drivers with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.07. The Chief said too many people are being arrested for DWIs and then plea bargaining for a lesser charge.
"One glass or maybe even one beer shouldn't be where you get in trouble for that," said driver Melody Segura.
The American Beverage Institute is urging Texas lawmakers to reject the proposed new law, saying it's attacking moderate social drinkers. The trade group responded with the following remark:
"By further lowering the legal BAC level, this proposal ignores the root cause of today's drunk driving problem, hard core alcohol abusers" (Sarah Longwell / Spokeswoman, American Beverage Institute)
"I think it's great" to lower the limit, said driver Max Sanchez.
Sanchez is for the proposed new law after years of watching his father battle with alcohol abuse and racking up many DWIs over the years.
"I really feel from the moment you take that first drink you know what youre doing. So I think it's a good thing," said Sanchez.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of South Texas released this statement in response to the proposed law change:
"In 2009, 1,235 people died and 17,833 were injured in drunk driving crashes on Texas roadways. MADD is committed to supporting our partners and heroes in law enforcement in their dedicated efforts to keep our roadways safe. MADD remains focused on legislation proven to save lives, such as requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers with an illegal BAC of .08 or greater and allowing law enforcement officers to conduct sobriety checkpoints." (Jennifer Northway / Executive Director, MADD South Texas).
Texas is a very friendly DWI state. We still don't allow DWI checkpoints.
See, no new taxes!
Alcohol and beer giants beware the feds are going to come for you next.,.
They will only arrest the Texans though, the illegals get a free pass.
Never say never. When I started driving it was perfectly legal to drink alcohol while driving, as long as you weren't drunk. That didn't change until the mid 80's. But change it did.
I'm guessing that the primary consideration is an analysis of the fine revenue rather than road tests of drivers at various BACs.
.05? You won’t even be able to have dinner and a drink with your wife and drive back home unless you weigh 350 pounds.
They should raise it, so that they can concentrate on the more dangerous cases.
When I was younger, I didn’t even know that Texas had DWI, except when related to extreme reckless driving.
I kept a bottle of whiskey available, and a country western 8 track in my front seat, if I got pulled over for swerving or driving too slow, I would swig the whiskey to hide my breath and replace the Hendrix tape with country.
And the American Police State creeps forward on stealthy feet.
In 1976 we drove to Kentucky and back from Pa. in my Pinto with our infant daughter in the back seat in a cardboard box. Imagine! Hey, we made it.
Utterly ridiculous. All one has to do, is look at the (true) statistics on drunk driver accidents. Your typical accident-causing drunk has a blood alcohol level of OVER .15....nearly twice the legal limit. Most are over .20, where .30 is (usually) dead by alcohol poisoning. Many also, even after causing a serious accident, get a slap on the wrist....when they should absolutely lose their license.
The only reason states have a .08 level to begin with is NOT the real stats on drunk driving accidents, it is due to lobbying at the federal level by MADD...which made federal highway money unavailable to states with over a .08 limit.
The MADD crowd and this Austin Police chief are simply neo-Prohibitionists, nothing else.
I'm an ex-drunk who sobered up twenty one years ago. I work with men who are sentenced for DUI in a prison for substance abusers.
The other day I interviewed a young man born in 1992. Eighteen years old, and the judge sentenced him to hard time for a first offense with methamphetamine. This is a nice kid. Most of them are. Our society is upside down.
I believe that if a person has had alcohol within the last 24 hrs of an accident, it is considered alcohol caused. The same way that lung cancer is caused by smoking, even if it wasn’t you smoking, or you had quit 20 years before. It is just a way to pad stats.
All the cops would have to do to bag their quota is arrest everyone leaving a nice restaurant. I think the electorate would deep six this travesty pretty quickly.
Texas can set the limit to ZERO & it will still not keep the dangerous drunks off the road. They are obviously too drunk to give a damn.
What it will do though is further depress the restaurant/bar business.
This man is an enemy. A creep. And does not deserve a position of power.
They started out with a needed crusade against drunk driving and turned it into a zero tolerance persecution against drinking and driving. But liberals love murderers, as long as they murder someone else or their families. It's drunks they hate.
The entire DWI thing is a racket. It’s at .08 because of Clinton, but most states have turned it into a cash cow ruining peoples lives in the process and I’m not defending driving drunk BTW. In Florida it’s turned into a cottage industry.
“Drunk driving shouldn’t be a crime.”
I do some of my best driving and some of my best posting while drunk - like now.
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