Under the Hat: Tough Choice - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: Tough Choice

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There aren't many of us who think that drinking and driving is a good idea but finding the right place to draw that line is proving to be a tough choice in a country that zealously protects individual freedoms.

The issue made headlines once again this week when the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that states lower the blood alcohol level for DUI arrests from the current .08 to a stricter .05.

Chair Deborah Hersman pointing to the one thousand deaths nationally that take place on the roads each year due to drivers whose blood alcohol is between .05 and .07.

Critics argue that the stricter standard would only punish moderate drinkers and do little to impact the heavy problem drinkers.

They also argue the move could cost the bar and restaurant industry millions.

Don't be surprised to see an argument where human lives are weighed against economic realities.

We could end nearly all traffic related deaths simply by not allowing vehicles to go faster than 25 mph.

But that, of course, would grind America's commerce to a halt and probably collapse the economy as well.

The truth is, every day we risk lives on the highways to maintain a standard of living and drawing that line somewhere that makes sense is the key.

In a touch of irony, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the leading advocacy group in the nation on the subject gave the stricter recommendation only a lukewarm response.

They are focused on research into smart car technology that could one day prevent drivers with any alcohol in their systems from even getting started.

It took Pennsylvania six years the last time the limit was lowered in 2004.

Today it remains a tough choice, but one that is clearly coming down the road.  

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