NTSB recomends change for blood alcohol limit

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Updated: 5/15/2013 3:11 pm
(Joe Ybarra Reporting)

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending changes to the DUI blood alcohol limit.

The recommendation is meant to reduce the amount of DUI deaths. 

To be clear, this is just a recommendation and not a change to the law but it's already got people speaking out already against it. 

The NTSB used a fatal crash in 1988 to make their point. In that crash, a drunk driver slammed into a bus, killing 27 people and injuring 34 others.

Deborah Hersman with the NTSB said, "Alcohol impaired crashes are not accidents, they are crimes and they can be prevented." 

To prevent them, the board recommended a change to reduce the blood alcohol limit that constitutes drunk driving from .08 to .05. 

Alvin Justis in Visalia said, "210 pounds, one tall beer will get you to .05." Justis sipped on a beer with his lunch. Under the recommended change, he says he couldn't legally drive home for at least an hour. "Most of your fatalities are probably people who are over .08, so the laws to me are fine the way they are," said Justis.

According to the NTSB, 10,000 people die in alcohol related crashes every year and 170,000 are injured. Those number are down significantly from 30 years ago.

Deborah Hersman said, "our goal is to get to zero deaths." 

Keith Korsgaden is the general manager at Crawdaddy's Restaurant in Visalia. He says he doesn't want people driving drunk either but also knows a .05 limit could hurt the business restaurant business. He says it's already tough to get people in the doors and tougher laws could make things worse. "It could have a negative impact on business and our employees," said Korsgaden.

The last time a change was recommended, it took 22 years for states to start following suit.
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