Local leaders react to recommendation to lower BAC levels - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Local leaders react to recommendation to lower BAC levels

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend all states lower the legal blood alcohol content level from .08 to .05.

"If the punishment outweighs the pleasure of the crime, many times the criminal's not going to do it," said Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby District 11. "I, for one, am against anyone getting behind the wheel of a car drunk. When I was 14 my sister was killed by a drunk driver, so I've got special attention that we need to do everything we can. We need to see our laws get as tough as possible."

Meanwhile, Rep. Barrett Rich, R-Somerville District 94, said he's for convicting more drunk drivers and making their punishments more severe, but he wants to make sure that driver really is impaired.

"We need to make sure the public safety is actually being protected, that it's not a knee-jerk reaction," said Rich. "If someone's not impaired at .1 or .01 or .05, then it's not doing anyone any good."

State Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Flint Clouse said even with the proposal, their focus continues to be on technology to prevent future drunk driving.

"Lower BAC levels is just one piece of the puzzle," said Clouse. "MADD's going to focus our efforts on eliminating drunk driving because based on the research and practices, we can save the most lives now and in the future."

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