Lower legal BAC recommendation divides local authorities

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 7:59 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Law enforcement leaders in the area say they would support a drop in the legal blood alcohol level but others want more research on the topic.

The Spokane County Sheriff supports the idea of lowering the BAC and wants more attention on dangerous driving below the current limit. In Idaho, the Kootenai County Sheriff wonders if the change would really make a difference.

Across the country, drivers in all 50 states can be arrested for drunk driving if they reach a blood alcohol content of .08. The National Transportation Safety Board said many countries have a lower limit and the U.S. should follow in their path.

Spokane County Sheriff said there needs to be an emphasis on buzzed driving, which is a deadly behavior below the legal limit. Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said so many of the arrests they make are people well above the legal limit, so the change may not have that much of an impact.

The effort to improve drunk driving safety dates back to the 1980s. During that time, the number of deaths from drunk driving dropped by 8,000 each year.

 

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