COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday proposed changing the DUI limit from the current, point zero eight to point zero five. The experts want it closer to what's being done in Europe and other countries to battle drunk driving. Ultimately it would mean you'd drink less and could get a DUI. The Board believes the United States is too soft on impaired drivers.
I talked with two tourists from Maine who were having a brew outside Jack Quinns with lunch about the proposal. Marian Dover told me, "My first reaction is leave it alone." Richard Hooper told me, "It seems to me the law is pretty tight the way it is. You can squeeze these things to the point that everyone is a suspect of something."
Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey believes the board's recommendation is worth pursuing. He said if we do make changes there are other things to factor in to this equation as well, "Are we as robust as we want to be with designated driver programs and actually saying if I am going to drink, I'm not going to drive too. It's a systematic approach to a big question."
The Board's recommendations do not have legal teeth to force change in individual states. However, the Board does have a history of recommending change and states make it happen. For example, in 1982 the Board did recommend the drinking age go up to 21 and we know how that turned out. Board members also pushed for the DUI limit to change from point ten to its current point zero eight.