Saving Lives or Putting Innocent Lives Behind Bars: What New DUI Limits Could Mean For You

Saving Lives or Putting Innocent Lives Behind Bars: What New DUI Limits Could Mean For You (Image 1)

There's one sure way to not risk a DUI – and death.  Don't drink and drive.

“Not one drop, its always safer to not play that card,” says North Augusta Sgt. Aaron Fittery.

But a lot of people do have a drink then drive, which is why many of you are up in arms about the proposal to drop the legal limit.  Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton has to see drunk driving scenes at their worst:  Death.  He says he's still skeptical about the effectiveness of this proposal.

“The people in the .05 to .08 range, are those really the people who are your problem population and leading to deaths in Aiken County to begin with,” Ashley Bridges asks.

“Those are not the folks creating the problems, the problems are being created by people who are well over in most cases double the legal limit,” Carlton says.

And he's afraid it could carry a big risk:

“You don't want anybody drinking or driving, but you don't want to make criminals out of innocent people,” he explains.

Restaurant and bar owners are also afraid this could be risky business.  Their customers could be too scared to have one drink, and just stay home.  We put that one drink to the test.

After one four ounce glass of wine, I actually blew a 0.00 BUT that wouldn't matter if I were impaired.  

“You can still be arrested,” Fittery says.

And officers say, whatever the limit, this won't put innocent people who aren't impaired behind bars.  The importance of the breathalyzer is overblown.

“The actual number is not as important as your facultiies to drive being impaired. It's just a piece of the puzzle,” he explains.

They officers say even if the limit does drop, they won't be pulling over more cars.

“It's not going to affect us making arrests on the road,” Fittery says. We're looking to see if your faculities are impaired if you should be driving or not, not what you're going to blow”

Because they aren't in this for a gotcha, but to get dangerous drivers off the road.

“It's our families that are out there on the road,” he says.

“There's not a rest button in the game of life, so when you take those chances, you risk dying,” Carlton adds.

Officers emphasize that the only fail safe approach is to not drink and drive.

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