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Bruce Hingst, Fargo, Published May 18 2013

Letter: NTSB proposal in unworkable

The National Transportation Safety Board is proposing reducing the legal driving limit from .08 to .05. Here we go again with government’s one-size-fits-all solution: punish everyone equally regardless of severity of the crime.

On May 15, the colonel of the North Dakota Highway Patrol said that the largest number of accidents and repeat offenders were testing in the .14 to .17 blood alcohol range. He even said it would be almost impossible for an officer to detect if someone had a BAC of .05. In comparison, if someone shoplifts, should we hold them to the same letter of the law as the armed bank robber?

I have a novel idea: Why don’t we let the punishment fit the crime. The higher the BAC, the more severe the punishment. More than one offense, one could expect much harsher penalties.

Everyone is different; some metabolize alcohol more quickly while some have a much higher tolerance. Safety on the road is the main talking point I keep hearing. Well, if that’s the case, let’s apply the same punishment to having an animal on your lap while you’re driving or if you’re eating while you’re driving. These two small examples are just as, if not more, dangerous than a 160-pound man having two cans of beer with dinner.