NTSB urges lower legal limit for driving drunk - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

NTSB urges lower legal limit for driving drunk

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Federal accident investigators want states to lower the legal amount of alcohol you can have in your system when you're behind the wheel from .08 to .05. The goal, is to reduce fatality and injury crashes

His right arm shakes, and he has trouble with one of his eyes, but you would never know anything was wrong with him. Cole Sharpe is a walking miracle.

"I was in a coma for two weeks, in a hospital for two months, paralyzed all down my left side," Sharpe said.

Sharpe says when he was nine he was riding in the bed of his friend's dad's pickup in Burnet, when the dad lost control.

"He'd been drinking all day we were hauling hay," said Sharpe.

Sharpe says he was thrown 40 feet. His head struck a brick wall.

"They had to revive me seven times. I shouldn't be here is what I keep getting told," Sharpe said.

The National Transportation Safety Board, a federally appointed accident investigation team, released 19 recommendations Tuesday to reduce injury and fatality crashes involving alcohol.

Click here to read the full list of recommendations: http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/130514.html

The one gaining the most attention is dropping the legal blood alcohol content level from .08 to .05. According to the report by 0.05 BAC, most drivers experience a decline in both cognitive and visual functions, which significantly increases the risk of a serious crash.

It has Sharpe's support.

"People would see I can only have a beer or a beer in a half. They won't drink as much," said Sharpe.

On the MyFOXAustin Facebook page, Ronald Gobert wrote, "It doesn't matter if you set it at .01, you will never get drunk drivers off the road."

Brian Thompson said, "Sounds like they just want to put more people in prison."

We asked Governor Rick Perry's office to weigh in.

A spokeswoman told FOX 7: "We understand the intent of the NTSB's recommendation is to save lives, but the decision to lower the BAC is one that will be and should be left up to individual states. If the people of Texas want the BAC to be lowered then that debate will be had in the Texas legislature."

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Lobbyist Bill Lewis says it will be a tough fight. As of right now lowering the legal limit is not on his radar.

"There are so many other things that we can ask for that are going to be difficult enough such as checkpoints and ignition interlocks, we think those will do a whole lot more good than fighting a battle of .05. I, frankly, don't know what the benefits will be, if the benefits are enormous, then of course we'll jump on it but without that it's not going to be something that we look for," Lewis said.

Mother's Against Drunk Driving statement:


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