Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 7:18:03 PM

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Would Lower BAC Limit Make Roads Safer?

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

The National Transportation Safety Board has proposed lowering the legal Blood Alcohol Content limit from .08 to .05. More than 100 countries have set the limit at that point or lower.

"(There will be) people with interests arguing it should be left where it is. By the same token no one can deny lowering the limit is going to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents," said attorney Ron Benjamin.

Broome County Stop DWI Coordinator Chris Marion sees other measures as having a greater impact curbing drinking and driving.

"Focusing on drugged driving, focusing on recidivism and the use of ignition interlock devices on vehicles operated by people already convicted of DWIs," said Broome County Stop-DWI Coordinator Chris Marion.

Local law enforcement say the majority of DWI arrests involve those with limits far higher than the .08 limit.

".05 and .08, they're still going to go out and consume. And like I said typically the folks we have coming in are in the .15, .17 range. Sometimes over .20," said Sgt. Thomas Williams of the Broome County Sheriff's Office.

"We have DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) which covers the lower BACs. We also have Common-Law DWI law where officers can write you a ticket and arrest you for DWI even with a blood alcohol limit of under .08 if the ability to drive is impaired," said Marion.

The NTSB made other suggestions such as high-visibility law enforcement and alcohol sensors.

"I think it's a good starting point to open up discussion of what can be done to continue to decrease the number of fatalities from impaired driving but this particular recommendation I'm not sure it will gain a lot of traction," said Marion.

****In Broome County, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****

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