RESTAURANTS FEAR IMPACT OF LOWERING BAC LIMIT
Daily Local News
By GINGER RAE DUNBAR
Restaurants say a proposal to reduce the amount of alcohol a person can have and legally operate a car would hurt their business and unnecessarily eliminate a pleasure millions enjoy without incident.
The proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would lower the legal Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, limit for driving from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.
Patrick Conway, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, said the proposed new limit is too low and would change the dining experience for law-abiding citizens.
While people with 0.05 percent BAC would not be impaired, if that level becomes law it may deter people from ordering an alcoholic drink, Conway said. He said a customer’s body size would factor into how many alcoholic beverages they could drink while dining.
He said his primary concern is that lowering the legal limit to 0.05 percent is “going too far” and does not solve the “bigger problem.” Lowering the legal limit would not stop problem drinkers and repeat offenders from drinking and driving, he said.
“I think it’s well intended,” Conway said. “(But) it really won’t solve the problem of drinking and driving.”
With 27 years of experiences in the restaurant business, Frank Herron believes people under the age of 25 understand the message that “driving while intoxicated is morally wrong and unnecessary.”