NEW BRUNSWICK - Changes could soon be coming to the amount of alcohol you can legally drink before getting behind the wheel.
The National Transportation Safety Board wants Congress to consider lowering the legal limit from .08 percent to .05 percent.
The last time the limit was changed was back in 2000, when the legal limit went from .10 percent down to .08 percent. This proposal is now on the agenda of the NTSB for this year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every three traffic deaths in the United States is alcohol-related.
The NTSB wants to see those numbers even lower. One way to do that, it says, is by lowering the legal blood alcohol content to .05 percent.
“It really kind of hurts the people that can't handle too much alcohol,” says Cassandra Perjesy, general manager at Clydz in New Brunswick.
Perjesy also says small businesses could feel the effects of a lower legal limit.
“I do feel that it might have an impact on our business. It may keep people from staying after dinner having an after-dinner drink,” says Perjesy.
A spokesperson from the New Jersey Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter says the organization supports the current legal levels as long as law enforcement efforts continue to eliminate drunken driving altogether.
Some customers agree with the NTSB.
“I would be OK with that,” says Elaine Anderson, of Summit. “I think that safety is important and we need to have a designated driver. Eliminating alcohol on the roads is a good thing.”
The restaurant manager says about one drink would equal a blood alcohol content of .05 percent, but she added that everyone's metabolism is different.