Wine Drinkers May Now Avoid a Life of Crime

criminal wine“The Hill” reports that the recent recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that the Blood Alcohol Content limit for DUIs be lowered to .05 from .08 “appears headed down a dead-end road. States show little interest in revisiting the hot-button issue, industry groups are lining up against the plan and even the most ardent foes of intoxicated drivers– including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) – have declined to endorse it.”

I think what is key here is not merely that so few stakeholders embrace the .05 BAC proposal, but that the current administration has not done so. Put another way, to-date, there have been no threats to withhold any sort of state funding if the states don’t reduce their BAC limit to .05. States are strapped for cash. I can imagine a fairly swift move to the .05 BAC limit if threats of withholding federal funds transfers were tied to lowering the BAC limit.

Still, and despite the lack of federal coercion, it is nice to see the states not fall for the idea of criminalizing moderate wine drinking.

According to the story in “The Hill”, “[Peter] Knudson (a NTSB spokesperson) said there he had heard of some level of interest in a variety of states, including Washington State, Illinois and Tennessee. But ultimately, he said, the NTSB doesn’t base its findings on political viability.”

“Political Viability”
It used to be that the political parties as well as the bureaucracy would not make proposals they knew had no chance of support. Times have changed.
Wine drinkers, the wine trade and the hospitality industry should breathe a big sigh of relief if this Hill story is accurate. It means they can remain both drinkers and in business.

One Response

  1. Michael Kaiser - July 25, 2013

    This is in line with what we heard, the recommendations were going no where.

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