NTSB suggests lower legal blood-alcohol limits for DWI

MADD has yet to endorse the idea

SAN ANTONIO - The National Transportation Safety Board has voted to recommend to states to lower the blood-alcohol content that would constitute a driver legally intoxicated. 

The recommendation asks all 50 states to lower the BAC level that would lead to DWI arrest from .08 to .05. 

The issue is one that hits close to home in South Texas.

"Bexar County remains, per capita, the most dangerous place for drunk driving,” said Jennifer Northway, executive director of MADD South Texas.

For Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Northway said it starts with supporting those who enforce the penalties. 

On Wednesday afternoon, MADD did just that, by recognizing law enforcement in the second annual Law Enforcement Recognition and Awards event.

"Their job is thankless and tireless and we really wanted an opportunity to showcase their work and to say thank you,” said Northway.

When it comes to lowering the legal BAC level, however, MADD has yet to endorse the idea.

"DWI is a complicated issue and it’s going to require a complicated approach,” said Northway. “Lowering the BAC is just one piece to the puzzle."

In October 2010, San Antonio police Officer Sergio Antillon lost his life to a drunken driver. His family, recognized during Wednesday’s event, supports the lowering of the legal BAC.

"I wouldn’t want another person or family member to go through what we went through because of somebody's mistake,” said Liseth Antillon, Officer Sergio Antillon’s sister.

According to the NTSB, nearly 10,000 people die in alcohol related accidents each year.

As for MADD, Northway said it is about solving problem now.

"Knowing that we can put things in place like sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlocks, and looking to advance technology; those are the things that are going to save the most lives now," she said.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.


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