Recommendation: lower DUI limit to .05 - FOX 13 News

Recommendation: lower DUI limit to .05

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The NTSB wants states to lower the legal limit from .08 to .05, and the changes would have wide-spread effects.

That's because a dozen factors, from the bartender's pour, to how fast your body absorbs alcohol, can easily register .05 on an alcohol/breath testing device.

"It's going to almost be practically impossible not to blow over the legal limit," explained attorney Stephen Higgins, who works with DUI cases.

There's very little wiggle room at .05.

"If you take it from .08 to .05, it's essentially half what you can drink over the course of an hour. I think it's a drastic reduction," Higgins said.

Machines in some bars offer drinkers a chance to "test blow" before they hit the road, but be warned that alcohol could still be on the rise in your system.

Some apps use a formula based on weight, drinks and time to guesstimate your level. However, everybody and every pour can vary.

Deputies believe hyper-focusing on the limit ignores the real issue of impairment.

"Blood alcohol content really plays no relevance to us when we affect an arrest. We're simply looking at the person's performance on field sobriety exercises and making the determination that way," said Cpl. Scott Sitton of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Blood-alcohol testing machines are only used at booking, not to warrant an arrest. The only fail-safe is no drinks.

"That's what we'd recommend. If you've had a drink, don't get behind the wheel of a car," Sitton said.

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