One too many MGD 64s these days could land you in court.
A proposed new charge, nicknamed a DWI Lite (not to be confused with a penalty for drinking shitty ultra-light beer), would let the police write drivers citations for having a blood alcohol content of between 0.05 and 0.07 — lower than the current DWI law limit of 0.08. (For some perspective, two glasses of wine over a 90-minute dinner result in a .044 BAC for a woman weighing approximately 130 pounds.)
The citation, called a DWAI, or "driving while ability impaired," is supported by Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, who considers the charge another tool in prosecutors' arsenal when procuring plea deals for drunk driving offenders and a means for the state to better track repeat offenders.
Critics argue that level of impairment, not level of blood alcohol content, should be the real focus, and charge that roadblocks installed to issue citations to low-BAC-level offenders divert attention from efforts to catch seriously impaired drivers. Even MADD has stated that while it doesn't oppose the measure, it doesn't support it. MADD's legislative director Bill Lewis told the Houston Chronicle, "I'm just not sure it's necessary."
In New York, where DWAI charges already exist, a DWI is considered a criminal misdemeanor while a DWAI qualifies as a traffic infraction.
No penalty has yet been proposed for the DWI Lite, except the everlasting shame of having been pegged with the most pansy-assed of arrests ever.
You know what I think. Now let's hear from you — is the DWI Lite a lifesaver or pretty unnecessary? Vote in our CulturePoll and let your views be heard.