Local officials in favor of lower blood-alcohol content level

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For drivers an increase in safety maymean a decrease in alcohol consumption.

Tuesday the national transportation safety board recommendedall 50 states lower the blood-alcohol content level from .08 to .05.

"It will definitelystop more people from taking that chance of driving down the road," saidAngelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches.

The sheriff says accidentsinvolving alcohol are the third leading cause of accidents on highways today.

ADAC Executive Director Phyllis Grandgeorge says many adultsfeel like they don't need to be told to drink in moderation and a lower ratewill put a limit on how much they drink.

"Most people think don'tthink one or two or three or four drinks isn't abuse but it really is when itbegins to impair your body," said Grandgeorge.

In 2011 in Texas alone there were more than 1,200drunkdriving deaths.

"So many people thinkthat they're capable of driving after a couple of drinks and their judgment isimpaired and their response time is impaired," said Janet Taylor, ExecutiveDirector, The Coalition

According to the safety board lowering the rate to .05 couldpotentially save 500 to 800 lives each year.

Grandgeorge says each person responds differently to alcoholbut the safest option is to stay in the passenger seat.

"At .05 impairmentoccurs, you really shouldn't even be driving at .05," said Grandgeorge.

Executive Director Janet Taylorof The Coalition says a possible adjustment could benefit a youngergeneration.

"Over 100 countrieson six continents already have .05 and teen drinking and driving would belowered by half," said Taylor.

The board's recommendation isn'tbinding so individual states would have to introduce and pass legislation tolower the BAC rates while driving.

The earliest a bill could beintroduced in Texas would be in 2015.

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