Federal officials want to lower legal driving limit to one or two drinks
Officials argue lowering the legal limit from .08 to .05 would eliminate people having to guess if they're okay to drive and save lives.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One drink may soon be one too many.
The National Transportation Safety Board is pushing all states to lower the legal limit on blood alcohol content from .08 to .05.
“Studies have shown at .05 you have impairment in your body. The metabolic process in your body is trying to fight that alcohol. You have impairment period,” said Indiana State Trooper Philip Hensley.
“I don't think it would hurt,” said Ray Ranalli.
“I think it's an excellent idea,” said Anne O’Connor.
Sgt. Hensley said reaction times slow down at .05 making it harder for impaired drivers to avoid crashes or hit their brakes. As for being able to tell if someone is driving over the legal BAC limit they would still look for the same signs. But he said field sobriety tests would be a little more tricky.
“At .05 it's still there. You just have to look for it a little bit deeper,” Hensley said.
While the NTSB says most people would be considered legally drunk after one or two drinks, Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr said it would eliminate people having to guess if they're okay to drive.
“You don't have to worry anymore about how to calculate how many glasses of wine or beer you can have with dinner. At the end of the meal you make sure you have a safe ride home,” Dinh-Zarr said.
“You can get Uber, you can take a cab. It’s too easy to get home without driving,” said O’Connor.
But some restaurants in downtown Louisville said it's not that simple.
“I'm always one to condone safe driving practices, but at the same time I think we also need to approach this from a realistic standpoint,” said Doc Crow’s Assistant Manager Cara Thomas.
Thomas said getting her customers a cab on a slow night takes about 30 minutes. She added there needs to be more cabs, for the change to actually work.
According to the NTSB, states started lowering the legal limit from .10 to .08 in the 90's.
Hensley believes the new change will happen. He said it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
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