Vermont senators want to lower legal limit for drunk driving

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MONTPELIER, VT -Vermont Senators Perchlik and Ingram are hoping to lower the legal limit for drunk driving. The bill proposed to reduce the current legal blood alcohol content from 0.08 to 0.05. Right now in order to drive your blood alcohol content must be lower than 0.08. The senators hope changing this will ensure road safety.

The amount of drinks equal to a BAC of 0.05 or 0.08 depends on the person and how much they weigh.

Democratic State Senator Debbie Ingram says she plans to co-sponsor a bill related to drunk driving due to her own experience.

“I am a recovering alcoholic and I had a DUI over two years ago,” Said Ingram.

Local 22 and 44 reported her BAC was 0.195 at the scene of her DUI. Williston police say an hour and a half later her BAC was 0.186.

 Ingram said this experience made her realize that more needs to be done to combat drunk driving in Vermont.

“It’s incredibly dangerous to drive in that state and I feel fortunate and I’m very grateful that I didn’t hurt anyone but we need to do more to help people to realize how dangerous it is,” said Ingram.

Democrat Progressive State Senator Andrew Perchlik is working with Ingram on this. He’s in favor of changing the legal limit for drunk driving to 0.05

“Scientists are saying that you are impaired at point 0.5 and that really should be the limit,” said Perchlik.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 or lower nearly 1,800 lives could be saved. NTSB data also shows about 100 countries around the world already have a BAC of 0.05 or lower.

“So we’d be saving lives and also saving money from having these costs these costs of crashes from impaired driving,” said Perchlik.

In statement, The American Beverage Association said lowering the legal BAC limit for driving from 0.08 to 0.05 will do little to save lives and will impact responsible people who just want to have a drink or two with dinner.

Senator Perchlik said, “there’s a lot of countries that have rich drinking traditions…Germany, Ireland, ya know, these countries have a lower blood alcohol content than we do and yet there pubs and restaurants and bars are able to survive.”

This would only be in place in Vermont id two neighboring states also enact a legal limit of point zero five. The senators hope by passing this bill in Vermont, it will show other states that it is important for the safety of the public.

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