PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The National Transportation Safety Board wants the blood alcohol limit for driving lowered from .08 to .05.
The NTSB has suggested this before, but so far, it hasn’t happened. Quite simply, the agency says it will save lives.
According to the CDC, it takes about four drinks in an hour for a 160-pound man to reach the current legal limit of .08. It would only take three drinks in an hour for the same man to reach .05.
People at Cupka’s Cafe on the South Side had mixed reactions to the suggestion.
“I think it’s a bad idea personally,” said Brian Baranauskas of Arlington. “It’s already pretty low considering some people’s alcohol tolerance.”
Denise Schilling, of the South Side, said, “I think it’s actually a good idea because if you want to go out and drink, you shouldn’t be driving.”
“It’s not going to stop everyone from driving,” said Scott Schilling, Denise’s husband. “No matter what the legal limit is, you’re going to drive if you want to drive. You’re going to walk if you want to walk.”
Both the Schillings and many of the other patrons at Cupka’s live close enough that they walk home.
While Abby Carney, of Arlington, doesn’t support lowering the legal limit, she says there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel after drinking.
“I mean with Uber and public transportation, there’s no reason to be on the road,” said Carney.
According to the CDC, at .05 drivers do actually have reduced coordination and difficulty steering.
But a restaurant trade group, The American Beverage Institute, spoke out against the proposal when it was suggested in 2013.
“This recommendation is ludicrous. Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior,” said American Beverage Institute Managing Director Sarah Longwell in a statement.