El Pasoans react to NTSB recommendation to lower legal alcohol limit

TxDOT
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 12:41pm

Drinking and driving continues to be a problem not just in our area but throughout the nation as well. The National Transpiration Safety Board is recommending to states the legal blood alcohol limit be lowered to .05. They said it will save lives on our roads.

"Not a day goes by that I do not think about him," said mother Rebecca Torres.

Torres lost her 18-year-old son in a drunken driving accident in East El Paso ten years ago. She is now using her tragedy to spare others the same heartache.

"If I can prevent another parent from going through that pain of losing their child… losing your child is the worst pain that anyone should ever have to go through, and if me speaking out being an advocate, talking to people, talking to teenagers is going to help in some way, then I'm willing to do that," said Torres.

The NTSB wanted to drop the legal alcohol limit from .08 to .045. Torres is for it.

"I'm an advocate for whatever it takes to get these drunk drivers off the streets," said Torres.

Sadly, each year, nearly 10,000 people die in alcohol-related traffic accidents. The NTSB said if all 50 states changed their limit to .05, nearly a thousand lives could be saved each year.

But, others including bar and restaurant owners are not exactly tipping their glass to the idea. Anthony Duncan wants to stop drinking and driving like everyone else, but said this may not be the way to do it.

"Zero-point-five is going to be a level low enough to where pretty much I think people would be afraid to drink at all," said Duncan. "The thinking that we have is people should be targeting those that are out there that have multiple convictions… the real problem drinkers."

Duncan said it will not impact his service, since bartenders are trained to watch their customers and their servings.

"If it goes down to .05, it's just going to be more of an effort on their part to really be diligent about that," said Duncan.

Rebecca said we need to lower the legal alcohol limit and stop this serious problem.

"I think it's important to send a message out to them that drinking and driving is not being responsible," said Torres.

Other countries have a blood alcohol concentration limit of .05. When Australia dropped its BAC levels from .08 to .05, they reported a five to 18 percent drop in traffic deaths.

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