WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended the legal blood alcohol content for drivers be lowered from .08 to .05. The NTSB hopes to cut the nearly 10,000 deaths every year related to drunk driving.
It’s no secret downtown Wilmington is a place people like to party and drink. It may be part of the reason why New Hanover and Brunswick counties have regularly ranked among the worst in the state for DWI arrests.
“We think it’s time to look at that, because there are definitely fatalities that involve people that don’t reach that .08 limit when they clearly weren’t safe to drive,” District Attorney Ben David said.
A report by the National Transportation Safety Board suggests that lowering the legal blood alcohol level for drivers could save between 500 and 800 lives every year.
“If it keeps drivers safer and limits and decreases the number of accidents then I think it’s a good idea,” Jeff Healey said.
Driving under the influence is responsible for nearly a third of all crash deaths in the US. Amber Faridi says any change to the current law is a good idea.
“I think it’s a really good idea to make our roads safer, especially with the summer coming up and parties and graduation,” she said. “I think it’s a really good idea.”
An idea shared by the county’s prosecutor.
“Any amount of alcohol is too much to be operating a car, and whether it’s .08 or .05, hand your friends or family the keys if you’ve been drinking anything, because you don’t know what is in your system in terms of the number and any amount is unsafe,” David said.
Currently every state is at the .08 percent standard. 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.