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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest1234543

    Guest6969696969 you have hit the nail on the head, Vog and NCnative have their head stuck in the sand, nobody wants to be on the road with a drunk driver, but if an individual can’t drive at .08 responsibly I’ll wager they can’t operate responsibly at no alcohol, I am becoming a strong believer that the state of NC should require a drug test and a driving test in a simulator annually to keep a drivers license., It’s getting a little old following a person with a handicap sticker doing 30mph in a 55 zone and they are weaving all over the road, and why the NTSB is at it let’s hear the stat’s on texting and driving, let’s disable all cell phone’s when they are in motion, let’s all join in on making the roads safer!

  • Guesttoo

    Couple of simple-minded thoughts and questions…

    Where is the science behind this? Are there studies that say that the lower limit will save lives? Certainly, we shouldn’t be buying into this just because a government agency says so.

    Busting someone for DWI is a fairly lengthy process. Do we want police spending hours booking a 0.05 while there are 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4’s driving out there? This would take police OFF the street, allowing more drunks to roam with impunity.

    If you get into an accident that is no fault of your own, and you had a beer, what will happen? NC laws are screwy when it comes to being at fault. If a person is found to be one-percent at fault, it gets ugly. I can see every accident resulting in a breathalyzer for all parties involved.

    I’m sure the lawyers in NC are pretty excited at the possibilities!

  • Guest2020

    So people don’t smoke pot and drive?

  • Guest6969696969

    Remember We have “Wine Tasting”/ Art viewing Parties & get-togethers, Duplin County Winery seves you a “sample” of Wine= Your’e now DUI…
    Everyone will be “clamoring” for this New Law UNTIL it happens to them, ONE BEER, Or a *SAMPLE* of Wine at a art Gallery Function, and arrested for DUI..
    Why Not bring back Proabition While were at it?
    WE Will NOT because the GOVERMENT Taxes Us for buying it, then ARRESTS US for Doing “stupid” things While “Under the Influnace”, Like “Drinking in Public”, I myself have been ticketed for this Offense ON MY FRONT SideWalk! because; Me and a couple of friends Socializing, like you see on **King of the Hill**

    A guest post comment from My Good Friend Karl Dennenger.
    Credits.. http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=220750

    So you’re against drunk driving, I presume.

    But: What’s drunk? Well, that’s a good question. Is it “any amount of alcohol”? In the eyes of the NTSB, it is:

    WASHINGTON – A federal agency is proposing that states lower the threshold for drunken driving to the point where a woman could be charged for driving after one drink and a man after two in a move officials say would save thousands of lives.

    Uh huh.

    Officials “say”? According to…. whom?

    Oh, I know — they “say” that the toughening of the laws have “saved” lives thus far. They have no evidence for this claim, however.

    Car accidents have become far less lethal over the last 30 years in general. The reason is the change in vehicles; we now have airbags, the interiors have been made much softer (as opposed to hard steel previously) and in addition the engineering of vehicles so they absorb energy (at the cost of their destruction) in a crash rather than transmitting it to the people in the passenger compartment has been quite impressive.

    “Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. “Alcohol-impaired deaths are not accidents, they are crimes. They can and should be prevented. The tools exist. What is needed is the will.”

    My goal is zero gang-banger shootings. Gang-banger shootings are not accidents, they are crimes. They can and should be prevented. The tools exist. What is needed is the will.

    The cops will be by this morning to search your home top to bottom and confiscate every firearm and round of ammunition they find. And they’ll randomly stop by, along with searching you on the street, any time they’d like in the future too.


    Still think the NTSB is on to something eh?

    New approaches are needed to combat drunken driving, which claims the lives of more than a third of the 30,000 people killed each year on U.S highways — a level of carnage that that has remained stubbornly consistent for the past decade and a half, the board said.

    Stubbornly consistent eh?

    “Studies show more than 4 million people a year drive while intoxicated.” Well, if that’s true then drunk driving is actually rather safe, objectively.

    According to their own statistics there is only a 0.25% chance that habitual drunk driving will result in a fatal accident! (10,000 deaths / 4 million people drive while intoxicated)

    This not to imply that I support driving while intoxicated. But the simple fact of the matter is that the law has continually tightened over my adult life in this regard, and in many if not all states a third DUI, irrespective of how long has passed between them is a felony.

    The approach we have in this nation is complete crap. Laws are supposed to be about punishing those who harm others, not creating a nanny state. The simple fact of the matter is that our improvement in mortality and morbidity on the roads is not about laws, it’s about technology. Anti-lock brakes, airbags, crumple zones and softer materials in the interior of vehicles such as rubber-wrapped steering wheels and collapsing steering columns along with vehicles that handle better and thus give you a better shot at evading an incipient crash are responsible for most of the improvement we’ve seen over the last few decades.

    Punish people who commit crimes with appropriate sentences. The crime occurs when someone is harmed as a consequence of your conduct — not before.
    Our *Rights* are slowly being Chipped Away, Yet OUR CRIMINAL GOVERMENT Kills Children with Drones in Foreign Cuntries, under the Guize of Thwarting Terrorism..
    Additionally,OUR CRIMINAL Goverment Has Blood on It’s hands of US Citzen’s, examples Range from the Killing of a Border Agent, (Brian Terry),,(Fast & Furious); to 4 people serving Our nation at Benghazi.
    We have thus far, that We know about…

    1. IRS
    2. Benghazi
    3. DOJ AP issue
    4. Fast & Fourious
    5. TBTF Banks caught Laundering Drug Procedde’s/Profits for Drug Cartel’s recieve a “slap on the hand”, (fines), While *admitting No wrong-Doing*
    6. Meanwhile, (all due Respect), The Great *ZERO* Cried like a *itch when questioned about it

    Where are the Impeachment Proceddings?

    People had better wake up in America or they are going to find they have about as much freedom as a VCR. Plug us in and we play what they want, or they unplug us. This is just another plantation and rather than liberate the slaves in 1865, We *AMERICANS*, have merely been made equal to be slaves. Lets hope we can refuse to volunteer, but they can make a crime of anything.

    Hey Media…Yes YOU

    How about a little help with the 2nd amendment, WE will take care of your 1st…

    What we don’t take seriously is that archaic piece of paper called the United States Constitution. We only care about the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments and no others especially not the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th Amendments.

    The Justice Department

  • Besty_Guesty

    Great! Just what we need: More Liquorcycles.

    What would be the penalty for a DWI on a DUI-mobile?

  • GuestMan.

    that you are much better off smoking pot. Legalize it, make money off it, DUI’s go down. Win/Win.

  • Guest2020

    What will make our roads safer is enforcing the laws already on the books and not letting drunk drivers off with a slap on the wrist. All this new level would get you is a heavier caseload full of offenders who will get off anyway. Besides, this is state issue and the federal government should butt out.

  • Gustafo

    Just because a 90 pound college girl cant handle two beers and plows into a family of 5 doesn’t mean a grown man can’t have the same two beers and drive a straight line. They’ll be banning pressure cookers next. The government isn’t making it safer, ….they’re taking away your rights. Little by little.

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