NTSB Recommends Lowering Legal Blood Alcohol Limit - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

NTSB Recommends Lowering Legal Blood Alcohol Limit

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Some restaurants are opposed to the recommendation as they might face a loss of business. (Photo: WBOC) Some restaurants are opposed to the recommendation as they might face a loss of business. (Photo: WBOC)
The NTSB said this recommendation would help decrease deaths on the road. (Photo: WBOC) The NTSB said this recommendation would help decrease deaths on the road. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that states decrease the legal blood alcohol limit on the roads from .08 to .05.

In its "2016 Most Wanted List" of transportation safety improvements, which came out on Wednesday, the NTSB said lowering the blood alcohol content to .05 would help decrease deaths and injuries on the road.

Currently, a male with an average weight of 180 pounds could have close to four drinks before reaching the legal limit, according to information provided by the Wicomico County Health Department.  

The information shows that a female of the same weight can consume approximately three drinks before reaching the current limit of .08. 

If the limit changed to .05, the Health Department said a male of the same weight could consume two to three drinks while a woman could have two.

Cynthia Shifler, the alcohol and OD prevention coordinator at the health department, said there is a piece of the conversation missing.

"I think more people are using other drugs with the alcohol, and that makes the problem even greater," she said. 

Shifler said it's also important to note that the situation is different for everyone.

"Everybody's different," she said. "That's the issue, as well. Maybe I can drink four drinks and get behind the wheel of a car--I know I can't--but some person may be able to do that because they've built up a tolerance."

Depending on the person, the numbers provided by the Health Department shows a consumption rate cut in half. Restaurants on Delmarva could stand to see a decrease in revenue. 

Most restaurant and bar owners WBOC spoke with said they do not support the federal recommendation, because they may stand to lose business as a result.  

Each state would need to change its own law to implement the NTSB's recommendation as legal limits vary from state to state.

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