NTSB wants legal alcohol limit lowered for drivers

WASHINGTON (WKBN) – The National Transportation Safety Board wants the blood alcohol limit for driving lowered from .08 to .05.

The NTSB said that the change would reduce deaths and injuries on highways.

The agency issued the recommendations Jan. 13 in its list of policies that it would most like implemented nationally.

The NTSB is also seeking a ban on hands-free technology in vehicles.

Canfield’s Assistant Police Chief Scott Weimer said it is unknown whether the change will make a difference, saying impairment is different for each person.

“Whether it’s alcohol, a drug, a combination, so it’s possible for someone to be below a 0.08, but if they’re impaired, they are still in violation of the law,” Weimer said.

He said his department has already seen the current limit working in the county.

“We’ve seen a pretty market decrease in alcohol-related crashes and definitely a big decrease in alcohol fatal crashes,” he said.

Stacey Price, of Campbell, said she believes lowering the limit is a good idea. Her daughter’s friend died at the hands of a drunk driver.

“If you drink, you should not drive,” she said. “There are too many accidents, too many people killed, too many young people out there that don’t understand.”

Marykay Bernat, of Youngstown, said, however, that limits shouldn’t make a different.

“How do you know? You know, because everyone’s system can metabolize it differently, so how do you know if you’re safe or not. I don’t think it makes a difference,” she said.

If the legislation does pass, it would be up to each individual state to change current laws.

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