Study suggests tougher drunk driving limits - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Study suggests tougher drunk driving limits

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A new study suggests lowering the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers. (KTEN) A new study suggests lowering the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- A new study is suggesting lowering the legal blood alcohol limit. This would mean if you get behind the wheel after a couple of drinks, you could wind up behind bars. 

The report, released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, suggests that states should lower the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05 percent.

Micah Bracy, owner of Tupelo Honey Bar and Grill in Denison, said he can get behind that proposal.

"I think it's anything far from a bad idea; other places have done it," he said. "We actually just got back from a trip in Paris, where it's 0.02, but I think the heavy difference that you're going to find is that there's much better public transportation."

But how can a drinker tell when he or she has hit 0.05 percent?

"I feel like you could have an alcoholic beverage and not feel as inebriated as your alcohol blood content level per se may be 0.08, you know, but you could feel like you're good to go, just like any normal person would be," said Indi Gargasz, a bartender at Kiotee Club.

The effect varies from person to person, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a man weighing 140 pounds will hit the proposed limit at two drinks within one hour, while a woman up to 160 pounds could only have one drink per hour.

"People are still going to drink, but there's plenty of safe ways to drink and go out and still get home safely," Bracy said.

One of the reasons for this study was to reduce alcohol-related crashes, which according to the Centers for Disease Control, causes 28 deaths each day.

"Just drive safe," Gargasz said. "If you're going to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, it's not worth other people's lives or yours."

The staff at both pubs is trained to monitor patrons who may have had a little too much to drink.

"Give them water, let them know they need to sit there for a little while, that they've reached that limit... we're not going to serve you," Bracy said.

"We would always be able to offer them an Uber or call a taxi for them or make sure they do get some type of transportation that is safe," Gargasz added. "We would always prefer that to happen rather than someone get in their vehicle and drive."

A blood alcohol limit of 0.05 percent is currently the law for drivers in Utah. All other states would have to take legislative action to reduce the threshold for drunk driving.

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