Why Michigan's BAC Limit Needs To Stay - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Why Michigan's BAC Limit Needs To Stay

"I know I am over a 1,000 drunk driving arrests at this point," said Sergeant Mike Church.

Sergeant Church says some of those arrests were made before 2003, when the legal limit was .10 in Michigan.

"At .08 your driving ability is going to be impaired, so it was always uncomfortable on the road to release somebody who was an .08 or .09, knowing they were dangerous to drive, but they could pass our field sobriety tests."

"Sergeant Mike Church says a change in the BAC may change the number of people who pass a sobriety test, but won't necessarily increase the number of arrests.

"We would just be letting go those drivers that we know are probably not safe, so it's really more of a safety issue then a revenue issue for us."

But State Representative and bill sponsor Andrea Lafontaine says the state would lose money if the limit goes back to .1.

"They did tie some of the federal road funding dollars to this safety requirement, so we would be forfeiting some of that money," said Representative Andrea Lafontaine.

About $50 million dollars of funding, a big number and a big risk. Both Church and Lafontaine say alcohol has different effects on different people so the lower the limit, the better.

"That would let people know that it's essentially zero tolerance, that if you drink at all you should not get behind the wheel," Sergeant Church said.

Currently all 50 states have laws on the books, making it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08.

Representative Lafontaine hopes the bill will pass through the criminal justice committee next week and then onto the house floor for a vote.

Representatives for Mother's Against Drunk Driving are asking the legislature to approve a bill that would keep Michigan's blood alcohol concentration at point .08.

If lawmakers don't act fast, the states BAC would be set to .10 on October 1st of this year.

And as our Nick Perreault found out that wouldn't be good for police or the community.

Michigan state police sergeant Mike Church says he's had to question too many drivers about how much they've had to drink over his 18 year career.

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