Possible Lower Blood Alcohol Limit

With the news of the National Transportation Safety Board's recommendation of lowering the blood alcohol limit from it's current limit in all states, of .08 to .05, we decided to put it to test.

Just how many beers could you have at dinner if the proposed level was the law?

After one beer, I registered a .02, one more beer, thirty minutes and a very full stomach later, I registered a .05.

"Some people can handle alcohol, some people can't," said Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman. "We do a field sobriety test on the road if we have probable cause and think someone's been drinking."

Then they give the breathalyzer test.

Under the new proposal, I'd be arrested and charged with DUI.

"Right now I think the .08 is a good limit to have," said Whitman. "We also have a .02 violation for underage drinking."

You might be surprised to hear that even groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving are opposed to the proposition.

In a party town like Panama City Beach, many of those pulled over are well above the legal limit.

"Most of the ones we come across are extremely intoxicated," said Whitman. "We've had them in the 2s. We've had one in the 3s. There are some intoxicated people out there."

Last year, there were 240 alcohol related crashes in Panama City Beach. And over the past three months police have written 49 tickets for DUI.

The NTSB can only recommend the change. It is up to lawmakers to make the lower legal limit a reality.

Regardless of the DUI level, the best way to avoid a ticket or, worse, a tragedy, is to stay out of the driver's seat if you have been drinking.


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