Scrap the .08 - lets go back to actual impaired driving

Scrap the .08 - lets go back to actual impaired driving

Just read an excellent article today concerning drunk driving laws.  Here's a little taste for you...


Last week Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo advocated creating a new criminal offense: "driving while ability impaired." The problem with the current Texas law prohibiting "driving while intoxicated" (DWI), Acevedo explained, is that it doesn't allow him to arrest a driver whose blood-alcohol content (BAC) is below 0.08 percent without additional evidence of impairment.


Now, I'll be the first to admit that my views on drunk driving laws can be a little extreme for most people.  I have difficulty understanding why something should be a criminal offense if there was no direct harm to another person, or damage to someone's property (attempted damage I also understand).  I'm all for petty misdemeanors (they are not crimes after all), heck lets ramp them up.  

When we get in this situation where all we want to do is get'em all!


Bill Lewis, head of the Texas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, agreed. "I don't see how it would hurt," he told the paper. "The level of 0.08 is where we know most people are good and drunk...and there are people who are driving at less than the limit who probably should not be. It might keep some people from driving [drunk] again."


Here's a response to that question.  If the legal limit is .08 because that's "where we know most people are good and drunk" but you also want to arrest those under the legal limit because they probably shouldn't be driving.  Why don't we just go back to the use of good old police work and use evidence of impairment as the basis for DUIs?  Too much work for the officers?  Afraid the jury won't believe the testimony?  Or do you just want to keep ramping up the arrests and social stigma and make the arrests easy?

Either way, I would like to hear your thoughts... 


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