NTSB recommends lower drinking limit

Published: May. 16, 2013 at 9:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2013 at 9:50 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Could the legal drinking limit drop from .08 to .05? That's what the National Transportation Safety Board is pushing.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says last year nearly 300 in Louisiana people died in alcohol related crashes. Louisiana executive director Floyd Johnson says that's why the organization fully supports a new recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board that's pushing to lower the legal blood alcohol level from .08 to .05.

"We think that it, one of the things it does is it creates dialogue around the issue of drunk driving," said Johnson.

Johnson agrees with the feds that lowering the legal limit could help cut back on the number of deadly drunk crashes we see each year. Johnson points most recently to the deaths in Slaughter related to drunk driving.

DWI attorney and former Louisiana state trooper Glynn Delatte says changing the law won't stop drunk driving.

"It's not a penalty thing," said Delatte. "You can't just punish people and expect them to fall in line like sheep. You have to educate them."

Delatte says, for decades, laws in Louisiana and several other states have stated that drivers with a blood alcohol content of .05 or under are not impaired. He says to change the law to say they are now, there needs to be more proof.

"It's political. It's not based on any scientific evidence, which is really scary. We don't have scientists saying that people at this level, over this period of time, through this scientific study, have done x, y, z," said Delatte.

For now this is only a recommendation from the NTSB. Johnson says as far has he knows there not yet a push in congress to change the law.

Click here http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2013/eliminate_impaired_driving/index.html to see a full list of the National Transportation Safey Board's recommendations to put an end to drunk driving.