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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB is pushing states to make the legal drinking limit for drivers, go from .08 to .05. NTSB is encouraging states to lower the limit as a way to reduce alcohol-related car crashes.

The idea received mixed reviews in Downtown Wilmington.

Maire Perdomo, said she would support a lower legal limit.

“I just think it’s really important that it’s lowered,” said Perdomo. “It’s important that people know the law, and if it causes more arrests then it will and then we will get more drunk drivers off the street, because you shouldn’t drive when you’re drunk.”

Chris O’Toole said he thinks a change will hurt businesses.

“It could definitely hinder people from wanting to go out, and spending money,” said O’Toole.

He said he doesn’t think a lower limit will keep people from drinking and driving. He said even with taxis and Ubers people still drink and drive.

“I think that if someone is going to drink they are going to drink and if they have in their mind they are going to drive,” said O’Toole.

James Jonathan Hardister said he is open to the idea of a lower limit but he can also understand why people would be against it.

“It’s not a really black or white issue,” said Hardister.  “There’s a billion different ways to look at it.”

A question many have is whether someone is impaired enough to not be driving at 0.5.  According to the NTSB crash risk rises as the blood alcohol content or BAC levels rise. In 2014 they found a BAC of 0.5 had a crash risk that was 11 times higher than driving sober.

According to statistics the NTSB cites, drivers with a BAC between 0.5 to 0.8 represent just 8% of all the drivers involved in fatal accidents.

This recommendation isn’t new, we reported practically the same proposal back in 2013.


Comment on this Story

  • Christopher Meyers

    The NTSB is full of horse-sludge! First of all, we provide businesses that sell beer and liquor by the gallon, provide parking lots and have little responsibility for how anyone leaves in any condition. They could take the BAC limit down to .001% and people are still going to be stupid and drive! All this action would be is a huge MONEY GRAB and would have no effectiveness on the amount of people killed or injured in DUI related accidents. You want to make a change? Everyone that enters a bar has to check their car keys in upon entrance and pass a BAC test upon exit to get them back or contract a cab to get them home. OR you could just stop selling alcohol. We all know neither of these would EVER happen, because the bars would be going out of business left and right!
    However, if such legislation were to be proposed, I wholeheartedly recommend that they upgrade the penalties for texting and driving the very same as DUI, especially when a death is involved! My life is endangered ever single day from this activity and I’m sick of it!

    • guest45

      Chris I agree with you, NTSB is trying to line their pockets while the state and counties promote the sale of alcohol and the insurance companies push to get people charged with DUI, not to remove them from the highways but so that they can raise the insurance rates, the cops and the court system generate revenue, it’s a big money scam, the drinking limit should be restored to .10, if they want to go after road accidents texting, and the use of electronic devices cause 10 times the accidents, I for one would vote to go back to “prohibition”, ban the sale of all alcohol, see how that goes over. Drivers that have had a couple drinks with dinner are more apt to drive defensively home than a tea totaler.

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