Should Michigan's Legal BAC Limit Change - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Should Michigan's Legal BAC Limit Change

Federal Investigators say it has worked for other countries why not here in the U.S.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended Tuesday, that states lower the legal limit to .05 from .08.

It's part of an effort to reduce the amount of alcohol related highway deaths and as our Nick Perreault found out, it's an idea that has support from both sides.

On the surface it may not seem like much of a difference, .05 or .08, but Robert Davis says when it comes your ability to operate a vehicle, those 3 hundredths make all the difference in the world.

"I think the science and the research on the effects on driving back it up," said Director of Prevention and Training Services Robert Davis.

Which is why Davis, the director at the prevention and training services in Lansing supports a measure to reduce the blood alcohol content to .05 nationwide.

"At the .05 you just about double your reaction time," Davis said.

Which Davis says could mean the difference between life or death in an emergency situation.

Davis sees about 30 people struggling with alcohol issues come through his facility every month looking for help, he says reducing the limit may push them toward recovery.

"People have the tendency to vastly under estimate how little it takes be impaired while driving," Davis said.

"It hurts the industry, to the point that are we going to be afraid to have a glass of wine with our meal," said Executive Director MLBA Scott Ellis.

Scott Ellis from the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association says drunk driving is a serious concern, but says the focus shouldn't be on those who have a few drinks.

"We believe that repeat offenders and high blood alcohol concentration are the people that they need to target," Ellis said.

Plus Ellis says a reduction isn't necessary, because police have the authority to arrest anyone who they feel has had one too many.

"If their ability to operate a motor vehicle is substantially or significantly affected they can be arrested for operating while intoxicated or operating while impaired," Ellis said.

@Michigan changed their legal BAC limit from .1 to .08 in 2003.

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