Independent Voices |

Independent Voices

Absolutely! Taking impaired drivers off the road, or better yet, stopping them from getting into an impaired state before driving, is a just and desirable goal.

The argument that we should refuse this change and thereby reject federal blackmail is emotionally appealing, but misses the mark. This isn’t an infringement of the drinker’s rights, it’s a further protection and affirmation of the rights of every other man, woman, and child in Colorado. Even if this doesn’t result in any great enforcement change, it reinforces the message that we each have a personal, moral, and legal responsibility to our neighbors when we choose to imbibe.

Heck, why not drop it to 0.05 while we’re at it? Maybe we can get even more federal highway funds. Anyway, I don’t think any limit will be much of a deterrent to those weaving down the road. It’s probably the least likely thought they’ll have at that moment. If the legislators want to cut down on drunk driving, they should put a $500 cap on attorneys’ fees for defending these potential killers.

There will be arguments against loss of personal freedom if police are allowed to stop us for not wearing seat belts, and possible loss of restaurant revenues in liquor sales.

Those drivers who wish to avoid police interaction can wear their seat belts. For diners who already drink and drive, it’s doubtful that a .02 modification will change their habits.

These objections are far outweighed by the benefits of lowering the limit. Everyone wins when our state can claim millions in highway funding, and when drunk drivers are taken off the road.

Why? Lowering the blood alcohol threshold to 0.08 percent for drunk driving is an elaborate, well-staged appearance of concern and action utterly lacking substance or merit if penalty and enforcement are not included in the debate.

I was attacked by a 0.299 percent BAC “Beast-of-Bourbon” (BOB) . driving with a suspended driver’s license . no insurance . and in an unregistered car. When BOB’s driver’s license was previously suspended, the 0.10 percent threshold was met. Penalty and enforcement could have prevented the attack on me.

I support the necessity of lowering the legal limit in order to potentially save lives and remain eligible for federal highway funds. I do not support Senate Bill 125 as currently written. Instead of impinging on otherwise law-abiding citizens’ right to drive without harassment from police, how about tougher penalties for convicted drunk drivers and the elimination of habitual offenders? Only through higher fines and more community service like roadside trash collection will “we the people” realize dividends for our loss of the critical 0.02 percent.

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