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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2013 at 8:35 PM

DUI bill passes Senate

Implement tougher DUI laws

I am frustrated by the government’s insistence that lowering the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) levels will improve Washington roads and deter potential drunken drivers [“DUI bill clears a Senate hurdle; U.S. panel pushes tougher rule,” NWWednesday, May 15].

Because of the harm it can and often does cause, drunken driving is an unforgivable offense. We need more tangible, immediate penalties. I agree with Republican state Sen. Pam Roach that making drunken driving a felony after four convictions is an underwhelming change. In some countries, individuals who are convicted of a single DUI have their licenses revoked indefinitely.

Lowering the legal BAC will not alter the amount people believe they can drink before driving. Until there is a zero-tolerance policy, one or two drinks will still seem reasonable. Plus, as stated, arrests are currently made whenever there is “evidence of impairment,” even under .08 BAC.

The article twice referenced “repeat DUI offenders,” as their target audience. But are the repeat offenders actually blowing a BAC between .05 and .079? Or are they, as I suspect, far above the current limit? The article failed to address this key issue.

Mackenzie Engel, Seattle

Comments | More in DUI | Topics: drunk driving, dui, DUI laws

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