Would Lowering Drunk Driving Limit Make A Difference?

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Having one drink or two can be a big decision if you're getting behind the wheel.

Right now, if you blow a .08 or higher on a breathalyzer, you can be nailed for driving while intoxicated.

The National Transportation Safety Board wants the limit lowered to .05.

Police say, however, that would not stop people from drinking and driving.

"They're going to do it now matter what," said Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns.

"They don't have a driver's license and they've already been arrested for DWI once, twice, three times," he said, "they're still going to do it." 

Jeff Graham, longtime bar owner and mayor of Watertown, agrees changing the limit would target the wrong people.

"I think those people who are inclined to be responsible are being responsible," Graham said.

"And those few who aren't are probably incorrigible."

Graham says the lower limit would be too much.

"We're a country where there's some states trying to legalize marijuana, we're allowing 15 year olds to get 'Morning After' pills, and now, all of a sudden, they want to crack down on this and make essentially a legal activity illegal," he said.

While designed to keep everyone behind the wheel safe, lowering the legal limit could hit bar owners where it counts: the cash register.

"If it goes any lower, you're going to start seeing businesses being interrupted," Burns said. "That's really getting to the point where someone couldn't go enjoy a glass of wine."

Any change to the limit isn't likely to come soon, but it's certainly something to think about the next time you're out having drinks -- or maybe just one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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