Reaction Mixed To NTSB Recommendation To Lower Drunk Driving Threshold
5/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
By Bob Dohr
Local reaction is varied to a recommendation by a federal panel to reduce the legal threshold for drunk driving.
In light of the approximately 10,000 U.S. drunk driving-related deaths each year, the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that states lower the allowable blood alcohol concentration from .08 percent to .05 percent.
Kyle Blank, owner of Peninsula Pub in Baileys Harbor is not on board with the idea.
Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says before forming an opinion he'd like to see more data on what percentage of crashes occur in the .05 to .08 percent BAC range.
The owner of the Lodge at Leathem Smith, Paul Meleen calls the issue a "slippery slope." Meleen says it's important for him that when people get behind the wheel other people are safe, but he says the difference between the .05 and .08 thresholds could be a "fine line."
Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel says the recommendation "might be missing the mark." Vogel says his issue isn't with drivers with a BAC below .08 but with repeat drunk driving offenders.
The standard in most of the industrialized world is 0.05 percent. All 50 states and the District of Columbia switched to 0.08 percent after President Bill Clinton signed a law in 2000 that withheld highway construction money from states that did not agree to that standard.