This past summer Gregg Spindler's daughter, Maegan, lost her life when a car drove through an intersection and ran into a hotel parking lot where she and a co-worker were standing. The driver was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving. Now, Spindler is calling for stricter DUI laws and harsher penalties.
One of these penalties includes a topic that was recently discussed on this blog, lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to .05% instead of .08%. At a recent meeting in the County in South Dakota where his daughter was killed, Spindler said "0.05 is still impaired and has a 40 percent greater chance of having a crash or killing someone than somebody who is not impaired”.
Spindler has already met with the governor's staff once and is doing everything he can to gain support for his proposal which also calls for:
“Immediate roadside license suspensions, immediate impoundment of vehicles, some of this can be done administratively and it's a very quick and certain consequence for the behavior,"
A loss of life is always unfortunate, but most of this man's ideas are not likely to catch on. In California, police already issue a temporary license to DUI offenders that are only valid for 30 days. Immediate license suspension would leave many violators stranded and cause them to lose their jobs or fail in school. This does not do them any good nor does it help society as a whole. Immediate car impoundment may have similar effects, but would likely boil down to DUI suspects having to pay a fine to get their vehicle back. Almost all California DUI offenders already have to pay fines and the State does not have to deal with paying for towing and storage of vehicles.
As for lowering the legal BAC limit, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) supports this idea, but many feel that implementing this lower limit would not be worth the time and expense involved.