Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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La. talking about lowering "drunk limit"

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BATON ROUGE - The National Transportation Agency wants every state to lower the blood alcohol limit. Under current Louisiana law the limit is .08. The NTSB would like the limit lowered to .05.

"Impairment starts with the first drink, by .05 most drivers experience diminished visual function, increased drowsiness and reduced vigilance," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.

The NTSB said that every year, 10,000 people die, more than 170,000 are injured and 27,000 are incapacitated in alcohol-related crashes. The board argues that dropping the limit to .05 would save lives.

"The average person arrested for the first time for drunk driving has driven drunk on average 88 times prior," said AAA Director Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research Jake Nelson.

But, others see no reason for the change.

"This recommendation targets moderate social drinkers. It doesn't target the hardcore population that causes the vast majority of alcohol related fatalities," said American Beverage Institute Managing Director Sara Longwell.

Changing the limit in Louisiana would require changing current law. The Legislative Transportation Committee said it's working on something for 2014.




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