Anti-drunk driving advocates are hoping Michigan lawmakers take action, or they believe driving in the state could become more dangerous in October.
That’s because Michigan’s legal blood alcohol limit will go up from .08 to .10.
The limit could go up because the 2003 law that lowered the BAC at .08 is set to expire this year and revert back to .10.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is opposed to the change and so are many lawmakers. Michigan
Michigan stands to lose about $50 million in federal funding, and WSBT found a lot of people against an increase in the law.
If the state’s .08 law is allowed to expire, Rebecca Betts will still make the same kind of drinks.
“I didn’t know it was happening, and it doesn’t make a big deal to me,” said Betts.
Betts is a server at the Riverside Café in Niles. She serves soup, sandwiches and sometimes a side of something special. But if the drunk driving limit goes up to .10, nothing there would change.
“We cut our customers off all the time if we feel they are over the limit,” Betts said.
But police are worried.
“Raising that limit back up, I feel, encourages people to not follow through on being safe and responsible,” said Buchanan Police Sgt. Harvey Burnett.
Burnett says by raising the limit, people will be allowed to drink more, and when it comes to getting behind the wheel, that is just not safe.
“Drink a little more and take chances on the road, which increases accidents, injuries and fatalities,” Burnett noted.
He isn’t the only one with concerns. WSBT asked viewers on Facebook what they thought.
“What a mess.”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving testified in committee last week. MADD supports a bill that would keep Michigan’s legal blood alcohol content for drivers at .08 percent. They say the .08 law has contributed to a 25% drop in drunk driving deaths in Michigan.
“You need a designated driver,” said Robin Sanders of Coloma. “You shouldn’t be drinking and getting behind the wheel.”
And police agree. They just hope legislators do, too.
The Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee is expected to vote this week.
The Detroit Free Press covered last week’s hearing and reported no one testified against the legislation to keep the BAC at .08.