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Letter: Blood-alcohol fix won't reduce DWI

Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Robert Howard checks cars

Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Robert Howard checks cars for impaired drivers at a Sheriff's DWI checkpoint along the Long Island Expressway in Medford. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara, 2011

While DWI, especially for repeat offenders, is a major problem, lowering the blood-alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05 is another political solution to a problem that may not really exist ["NTSB: Lower DWI limit to 0.05," News, May 15].

When the limit was lowered from 0.10 to 0.08, did many more drivers get caught? Were there people who were in that 0.08 to 0.10 range who had gotten away with it up until then? Do police have to let many inebriated drivers go because they're just under the legal level?

I understand that the typical DWI suspect in Nassau County has a blood-alcohol content of between 0.17 and 0.19, double the current limit. How would lowering the limit make any difference? It sounds good, though.

Reducing DWI can only happen when offenders are incarcerated, with meaningful sentences and fines for repeaters. Removing drivers' licenses from people who don't follow the law to begin with doesn't work, because they just drive anyway without a license or insurance.

They then become the problem of those legitimately on the road, and our premiums increase to cover uninsured drivers.

I'm not sure if it is the police or the courts that have to get serious about this problem. It's not the legislature.

Paul Pepe, Massapequa

Editor's note: The writer formerly taught driver education.