NTSB wants legal blood alcohol level lowered

NTSB wants legal blood alcohol level lowered

Posted:
The aim is to cut the nearly 10,000 deaths every year related to alcohol impaired driving. The aim is to cut the nearly 10,000 deaths every year related to alcohol impaired driving.
"I think they relax a little but they aren't a threat or a danger to anyone else," Skipworth said. "I think they relax a little but they aren't a threat or a danger to anyone else," Skipworth said.
"If dropping the limit to .05 saves lives, we're for that," Sgt. Gary Kent added. "If dropping the limit to .05 saves lives, we're for that," Sgt. Gary Kent added.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The National Transportation Safety Board recommends states should alter the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers from the current .08 to .05.

A .05 blood-alcohol content equates to about one drink for a woman weighing less than 120 pounds, and two drinks for a 160-pound man. In most studies a drink was defined as 12 ounces of beer, four ounces of wine or one ounce of 80-proof alcohol.

The aim is to cut the nearly 10,000 deaths every year related to alcohol impaired driving.

Those working the bar at Tin Roof in Knoxville find the move a little extreme.

"I think changing the blood alcohol to .05 is ridiculous because people want to go out and have a good time, and not be so paranoid about leaving the bar if they have more than one drink," said bartender Chelsea Skipworth.

"Depending on the amount of food they had, when they ate last, body structure, depends on a lot of factors. It could be that a seasoned drinker takes more drinks to reach that point than someone who is not a seasoned drinker," explained Sgt. Gary Kent, who oversees traffic patrols at the Sevier County Sheriff's Office.

Those like him in law enforcement are on board with the idea, expected to save thousands of lives nationally.

"If dropping the limit to .05 saves lives, we're for that," he added.

Right now the alcohol limit in the U.S. is higher than most industrialized nations.

"The U.S. is in a minority around the world, because most countries follow a .05 BAC," said Knox County Assistant District Attorney Sarah Keith.

However, if you ask those who see regular drinkers at the bar, they'll tell you a .05 level isn't anything to be concerned about.

"I think they relax a little but they aren't a threat or a danger to anyone else," Skipworth said.

The NTSB has no authority to change the standard. It can only recommend that each state make the change. Currently every state is at the .08 percent standard. It took more than two decades for states to lower from .1 percent to .08 percent.

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