Sheriff says lower drunk driving BAC standard misses the mark

CREATED May 15, 2013

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  • Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has a history of going after drunk drivers.  He's pushed and is still pushing for tougher drunk driving laws.

But when it comes to a new proposal in Washington to lower the legal limit to drive from .08 to .05, the Sheriff says, "you can count me out on that one."

Sheriff Clarke thinks the proposal misses the mark.  He points out that the average drunk driver arrested in Milwaukee County has a blood alcohol level of .15.  That's nearly twice the current legal limit.

"When you're at a .16, twice the legal limit, you're smashed.  Those are the problems out on the roadway, not the social drinker who really does have the one or two drinks," Clarke said.

Clarke says he plans to stay focused on pushing Wisconsin to make a first drunk driving arrest a crime.  Right now, a first offense is similar to a traffic ticket.  We're the only state in the nation that hasn't criminalized a first offense.