Lowering Legal Drinking Limit Concerns Local Bar Owners (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson

May 14, 2013 Updated May 15, 2013 at 9:24 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – The National Transportation Safety Board’s fight to drop the legal drinking limit for drivers is not sitting well with some local business owners.

"Private enterprise keeps getting tampered with by the federal government,” said Cindy Henry, Owner, The Green Frog Inn.

Tuesday a recommendation came down from the NTSB to lower the legal limit from .08 to .05.

"We have to make movement in some direction,” said Donald N. Reed Jr., MD, FACS, Medical Director, Trauma Center at Lutheran Hospital.

After seeing so many patients come through the emergency room, from accidents involving alcohol, Dr. Reed says he agrees with the recommendation from the NTSB.

NTSB officials say 10,000 people are killed each year in drunk driving accidents.

"It's not that it's safe at .079 and not at .081. This is a continuum of alcohol in the blood stream that has effects on judgment and reaction time and those particularly have been shown to cause accidents or lead to a propensity to be involved in an accident,” said Dr. Reed.

Others have a very strong stance against the concept because of the impact it could have on their businesses.

"It's going to scare a lot of people away,” said Henry.

Cindy says the smoking ban hit owners of small bars and taverns hard already in 2008 and she isn't sure businesses like hers would survive this.

"Friends of mine in this business have lost their retirement funds. They've had to go to work in factories just to make a living because they make it so hard to own a little neighborhood place like this,” said Henry.

Henry says her and her staff often call cabs, and even take keys from customers.

"It's sad because my staff doesn't over serve people, we don't promote drinking and driving,” said Henry.

At this point this is only a recommendation voted on by the NTSB. So far no legislation has been drafted.




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