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How drunk is drunk? Officers want state's legal limit lowered (Texas)
KENS ^ | 10/08/2010 | Nadia Ramdass / KENS 5

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 you’re 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).


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: dwi
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This'll never happen.

Texas is a very friendly DWI state. We still don't allow DWI checkpoints.

1 posted on 10/09/2010 7:48:40 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd
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To: Responsibility2nd
Instead of raising taxes, they'll just arrest every 3rd Texan, and fine them $800....

See, no new taxes!

2 posted on 10/09/2010 7:51:43 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Responsibility2nd

Alcohol and beer giants beware the feds are going to come for you next.,.


3 posted on 10/09/2010 7:52:25 PM PDT by Stayfrosty
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To: dragnet2

They will only arrest the Texans though, the illegals get a free pass.


4 posted on 10/09/2010 7:52:57 PM PDT by digital-olive
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To: Responsibility2nd
This'll never happen.

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.

5 posted on 10/09/2010 7:54:06 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: Responsibility2nd
How much are your reactions really slowed at 0.05% BAC? From what I understand the drop from 0.10 to 0.08 increased the number of arrests, but really didn't have a huge impact on accidents. The bigger cause are the drivers above 0.15% who just don't care that their licenses have been suspended. Down at the lower levels you start counting "alcohol related accidents" where the person is in an accident at above the legal limit, but that didn't necessarily cause the accident.

I'm guessing that the primary consideration is an analysis of the fine revenue rather than road tests of drivers at various BACs.

6 posted on 10/09/2010 7:55:22 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Grblb blabt unt mipt speeb!! Oot piffoo blaboo...)
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To: Responsibility2nd

.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.


7 posted on 10/09/2010 7:55:32 PM PDT by carjic (Laid off since Dec 08...HELP!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

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.


8 posted on 10/09/2010 7:55:56 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Responsibility2nd
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.

And the American Police State creeps forward on stealthy feet.

9 posted on 10/09/2010 7:57:56 PM PDT by kiryandil
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To: SeeSharp
When I started driving it was perfectly legal to drink alcohol while driving, as long as you weren't drunk.

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.

10 posted on 10/09/2010 8:00:56 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: Responsibility2nd

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.


11 posted on 10/09/2010 8:01:25 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: All
Good grief. They won't seal the border, won't execute the murderers, treat us like cattle in airports, but want to have the cops chasing people for a few beers. Talk about fanaticism...

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.

12 posted on 10/09/2010 8:03:01 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: AnalogReigns

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.


13 posted on 10/09/2010 8:05:36 PM PDT by runninglips (Don't support the Republican party, work to "fundamentally change" it...conservative would be nice)
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To: Responsibility2nd

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.


14 posted on 10/09/2010 8:08:59 PM PDT by Rembrandt (.. AND the donkey you rode in on.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

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.


15 posted on 10/09/2010 8:09:31 PM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: kiryandil
Austin's Police Chief Art Acevedo

This man is an enemy. A creep. And does not deserve a position of power.

16 posted on 10/09/2010 8:11:43 PM PDT by qwertypie
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Billy the Mountain
I don't have a problem with reasonable drunk driving laws, but dragnets, checkpoints, and DUI police squads are an abominable use of police resources.

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.

18 posted on 10/09/2010 8:21:04 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: Responsibility2nd

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.


19 posted on 10/09/2010 8:26:32 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: Billy the Mountain

“Drunk driving shouldn’t be a crime.”

I do some of my best driving and some of my best posting while drunk - like now.


20 posted on 10/09/2010 8:30:14 PM PDT by shove_it (have a nice day)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I’d vote for it but, sadly, it won’t pass in Texas.


21 posted on 10/09/2010 8:31:35 PM PDT by bgill (K Parliament- how could a young man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: WHBates

Weren’t the Trial Lawyers behind the push in states to reduce the limit to .08?


22 posted on 10/09/2010 8:34:54 PM PDT by willk
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To: Responsibility2nd

They (government) want more money. It’s as simple as that. These people have never heard of the law of diminishing returns.


23 posted on 10/09/2010 8:37:48 PM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I have some wishes for law enforcement:

Start serving and protecting

You have turned into unmitigated bullies and asses


24 posted on 10/09/2010 8:40:06 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys)
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To: Responsibility2nd

The Austin police chief is not “Texas officers.” It’s the Austin police chief.


25 posted on 10/09/2010 8:40:22 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Luke21

9 times out of 10 law enforcement is a euphemism for tax collection.

In my (not so) humble opinion, any law based on an arbitrary number is defacto immoral - the focus ought be on safety and smooth flow.

Of course, there isn’t any money to be made with that, so it’ll never happen stateside.


26 posted on 10/09/2010 8:45:12 PM PDT by robertwalker62
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To: Larry Lucido
Yes.

Herr Acivedo continues his campaign for Reichsführer of Travis County.

He's on the radio a lot down here, and the polite demeanor and friendly disposition with which he describes whatever his new draconian policy of the week is quite disturbing.

I heard he was interviewing for the PC's spot in Dallas; please let him be gone soon.

27 posted on 10/09/2010 8:47:59 PM PDT by GunRunner
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To: Responsibility2nd

this is probably because of sloppy police work at trial is resulting in dimissials and prosecutors are dealing with piss poor cases.

it is also about generating revenue.


28 posted on 10/09/2010 8:48:48 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Free clue to KENS 5, if you had a .08 BAC you'd be dead.

The standard BAC for a drunk driving charge is .08%.

Which is a total scam as it is since .08% is not likely going to make you a less safe driver, merely increase opportunities for state revenue enhancement.

The old .1% standard really didn't make you that unsafe a driver but at least was reasonable cut off in that two beers at dinner wouldn't get you there.

29 posted on 10/09/2010 8:49:43 PM PDT by Tribune7 (The Democrat Party is not a political organization but a religious cult.)
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To: carjic
.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.

At .05, having ever had an alcoholic drink in your life will qualify.

I bet you didn't know this, but you can be CONVICTED of a DUI with a 0.00 BAC.

30 posted on 10/09/2010 8:52:56 PM PDT by Lazamataz
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To: AnalogReigns
Your typical accident-causing drunk has a blood alcohol level of OVER .15....nearly twice the legal limit.

DING DING DING DING

We have a winner.

31 posted on 10/09/2010 8:53:00 PM PDT by Tribune7 (The Democrat Party is not a political organization but a religious cult.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

.08 is not even close to drunk for most people


32 posted on 10/09/2010 8:53:48 PM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: Lazamataz
"I bet you didn't know this, but you can be CONVICTED of a DUI with a 0.00 BAC."

It comes under 'reasonable suspicion'. Small towns everywhere see a funding bonanza.

33 posted on 10/09/2010 9:04:46 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: Responsibility2nd

I got an idea:

How about pulling over drivers who exhibit impairment, whether the impairment occurs from drinking, drugs, texting, doing your makeup, reading a book, yakking with your friends on the phone, etc etc etc.

Oh I know it would never happen - it would require actual work. Zero tolerance and checkpoints are much easier.


34 posted on 10/09/2010 9:06:30 PM PDT by Dr.Deth
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To: AnalogReigns
"Your typical accident-causing drunk has a blood alcohol level of OVER .15"

But if your family has enough influence and money, you can bury your car upside down in a tidal river, leaving a woman to drown, and be declared the 'Lion of the Senate'.

35 posted on 10/09/2010 9:07:02 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: willk

Yes and MADD, this entire DWI process has been a cash cow for the trial bar.


36 posted on 10/09/2010 9:07:22 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: Lazamataz

They try it all the time in FL. You still get you license pull until after court which could take months. Actually, in FL the DMV (polics) pulls your license (a year BTW) and if convicted the Judge will pull you license. Why this isn’t double jeopardy I don’t understand. If you not convicted you get it back, by that time you have spent 3K to 4K maybe more.


37 posted on 10/09/2010 9:14:50 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: Responsibility2nd
""In 2009, 1,235 people died and 17,833 were injured in drunk driving crashes on Texas roadways."

Yeah, I read about that in the papers almost every day;
funny thing though: most of the drunks are also illegals...

Seems one law doesn't mean any more to them than another.

38 posted on 10/09/2010 9:43:38 PM PDT by Redbob (W.W.J.B.D.: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: KarlInOhio
"I'm guessing that the primary consideration is an analysis of the fine revenue rather than road tests of drivers at various BACs."

No kidding...

And it just happens that Travis County is facing a budget shortfall!

39 posted on 10/09/2010 9:47:01 PM PDT by Redbob (W.W.J.B.D.: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: KarlInOhio

They ought to raise the limit...probably above .10. Maybe .12 or higher. I don’t drink, but if I can drive legally when tired, then one drink shouldn’t disqualify someone.


40 posted on 10/09/2010 9:49:35 PM PDT by Mr Rogers (When the ass brays, don't reply...)
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To: yldstrk
You're absolutely right. Show me the statistics that show people at 0.05 to 0.07 are more of a threat than say, a 16 year old driver with his/her brand new license talking on a cell phone or to a car-load of friends. This is all about money and generating revenue, pure an simple. This cop / these cops have forgotten that they are there to protect and serve, not generate bucks for their local governments.

Couple of times a month I'll see a County Sheriff's Deputy running a speed trap on the way to or from work. Now, this is a fairly remote location, so it is obvious all he's doing it pulling in bucks off the poor working stiffs commuting to the same place I am. Note, there are no connecting roads, no houses along the road, 95% or more of the traffic is headed the same direction, nothing but antelope and some cattle around. There is absolutely no history of accidents along this road - in 5+ years I've heard of exactly 2. One caused by someone running the one red light at the one cross street. The other caused by someone dropping their cell phone, reaching to pick it up, and swerving off a straight and level road...

So when I see them, I think "You really don't have anything better to do? There's no crime in the County? No meth labs to look for, property crimes, crimes against people? We live in such a peaceful County that our officers have nothing better to do with their time than stick it to working stiffs?" I don't blame the officers, I blame the Sheriff. He sets the priorities, he assigns the work. I'm voting for who-ever is his challenger. Oh, and the City and County are crying to the public, asking for a tax hike or "vital" services such as Police and Fire coverage will be reduced. BS. There are lots of other non-vital {expletive}-programs they have no business being in that can and should be cut. And if all the officers have to do is sit on the side of the road, I guess we can cut a few of them too. Not one incumbent City or County official is getting my vote. Not a one.

41 posted on 10/09/2010 9:57:42 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: dragnet2

Exactly! Everyone who drives is drunk regardless! Leave home? $5,000. Where’s your papers punk? Another $5,000 or incarceration.


42 posted on 10/09/2010 9:58:10 PM PDT by poobear ("The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." -- Thomas Paine)
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To: Responsibility2nd

The neo-prohibitionists are on the march again. .08 is rediculously low as it is.


43 posted on 10/09/2010 10:23:09 PM PDT by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: Responsibility2nd

MADD’s wet dream - check their website for what they really want.

Canada provinces pretty much just instituted .05% BAL recently.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2010/09/30/nl-driving-laws-930.html

And if you weren’t surfing FreeRepublic now - you’d never know about it....

.05 will happen in the US within our lifetimes, most of the world is at or below that now. It will destroy the hospitality industry in the US as we know it.

Order delivery....


44 posted on 10/09/2010 10:36:28 PM PDT by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: zeugma
".08 is rediculously low as it is."

Roger that.

I've got a better idea:
Why don't they just pull over the people who are driving erratically, and charge them with that?

I've seen more accidents caused by drivers jamming on the brakes at the sight of a cop than by "drunk drivers."

45 posted on 10/09/2010 10:36:57 PM PDT by Redbob (W.W.J.B.D.: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: Responsibility2nd

These people have created this huge industry into itself which isn’t bringing in the $$$, hence they up the ante. I know in WA state once they are done with you it’s a $12000-$17000 bill.


46 posted on 10/09/2010 11:14:33 PM PDT by italybub
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To: Responsibility2nd
The problem isn't .08, its driving at .15 and getting probation. If you watch the real world, some of these yahoo's can't stand up or get their license out of their wallet and they get nothing. I can't see how lowering the limit will do anything except raise more money. It certainly won't save any lives. It's the same bugaboo all the time,...we catch the criminal then we let him go to do it again. I don't care whether it's dope, robbery, or murder, they get out and do it again. We can't even keep Lohan in jail for a week without letting her back out. Arresting people just overworks the cops and stuffs the jails. If you want to stop crime, put em in jail and make it stick. Some of these people have had 10 DWI and have killed and injured people and are still driving. Course if you are illegal, nothing matters anyway. Kill them or maim them it's still Arizona's fault.
47 posted on 10/09/2010 11:23:33 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: Responsibility2nd

Geez, raise it to .15, you need that to live in Texas.


48 posted on 10/09/2010 11:30:26 PM PDT by Sto Zvirat
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To: runninglips

It’s more likely a way to pad revenue.


49 posted on 10/09/2010 11:34:28 PM PDT by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: Stayfrosty
Alcohol and beer giants beware the feds are going to come for you next.,.

Gotta wonder if Juan Mc Lame, would have run differently if he'd have known about this?

Nah..... They promised him his senate seat, and he's gonna get his senate seat.

They didn't mention the walls and ceiling though!

50 posted on 10/09/2010 11:40:18 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Jeremiah 50:31 Behold, I am against you, O you most proud, said the Lord God of hosts.)
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