NTSB proposes lowering of blood alcohol limit to 0.05 percent

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- If you drive after having a glass of wine for dinner, you could be arrested. At least that's what a new proposal to lower the legal blood alcohol limit might do. The National Transportation Safety Board wants states to lower the blood alcohol limit, from 0.08 to 0.05 percent.

If slinging back a few cocktails didn't stop you from getting behind the wheel before, a new proposal by the NTSB might do the job.

It's asking states to lower the legal limit by nearly half from 0.08 to 0.05 percent. In the U.S., one-third of all highway deaths involved alcohol in the last 15 years. If the states adopt the standard, they could get more funding for highways.

"If the states don't comply with the requests, then they try to provide incentives and the incentives are usually more traffic funding," said Lt. Bill Ames of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

Blowing a 0.05 percent is about the equivalent to one drink for a woman who weighs less than 120 pounds and about two drinks for a 160-pound man.

If you look at alcohol servings, a 2-ounce beer, a glass of wine or a shot is about a 0.02 percent difference, so having all three can easily put you over the limit and under arrest.

Ames says, "It varies with each individual and the amount of alcohol they drink and how their body metabolizes it, their reaction, how they're following, their vision."

Even if the legal limit is lowered, Ames doesn't think it will make much of a difference.

"0.15 percent, which is almost twice the limit of what the state is now, is about 70% or more of the fatal accidents are usually that involve alcohol," said Lt. Ames.

Medications or drugs will not change your blood alcohol content, but if you mix them with alcohol, it could affect your ability to drive.

Read the original version of this article at kolotv.com.