Possible New Drinking Law on The Books - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Possible New Drinking Law on The Books

There's a law that could get on the books in Texas that could put you in jail if you have two beers and get behind the wheel. It's called driving while ability impaired, or DWAI, also known as buzz driving.

The buzzed driving law is drawing all kinds of attention in Texoma.  It's different from the commonly known DWI, but should be taken just as seriously. The legal limit in Texas is .08, but you could drink less than that and still go to jail.

"Personally I think its a little harsh given that a lot of people may have a glass of wine or something when they go out to dinner," said Danielle Thomas, Texoma resident.

DWAI, or the buzzed driving law, would be used as a back up for people who are on the edge of getting a DWI. Currently your blood-alcohol content would have to be at a .08 to get a DWI, but for a DWAI it would only have to be at a .05 that's the equivalent to 2 beers.

 "That doesn't mean that they're not capable of driving or their mental state is such where they could cause anybody else any harm," said Thomas.

"Texas needs to do something to crack down on that law more and to make people a lot more conscience before they go jump into a car and drive and realize that it doesn't take very much for you to be over the limit," said Randall Funston, Texoma resident.

That means if you decide to have a drink at dinner, or watch the big game at some sports bar you better have a designated driver. Otherwise you could end up with a misdemeanor on your criminal record.

"I think drinking responsibly is a great thing for all of us we all have families so I would certainly advise my customers and anybody that's watching to be sure and watch what they're doing," said Victor Kocks, Co-Owner of Kocks Liquor and Beer.

"Life is a lot more important than having a good time its those decisions that we actually make that will actually take somebody's life out on the rode," said Funston.

Since January the Wichita Falls Police Department has 180 reports for DWI's filed and 174 arrests.

Since September 13th through October 13th, Wichita Falls PD have arrested 10 people for driving under the influence.

The Texas State Senate will meet January of 2011 to discuss and possibly pass the driving while ability impaired law, changing the drinking laws across the state.

Samantha Jordán Newschannel 6.

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