Former police chief weighs in on NTSB suggestion to lower BAC
By Caray Grace| January 25, 2016 at 1:52 AM CST - Updated July 25 at 6:16 AM
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX)
A new recommendation by the National Travel Safety Board suggests lowering the blood alcohol content limit from the current .08 to .05.
Former Gulfport Police Chief Alan Weatherford weighed in on the news, offering a unique perspective after having a career in law enforcement and losing a daughter to a drunk driver.
"I don't think it's necessary, there's really been no scientific data that I've seen, you know, that's speaking from a law enforcement perspective and from our lost," said Weatherford.
Weatherford's daughter was killed by a drunk driver in 2011. Though he and his wife grieve their loss everyday, Weatherford feels the state has already made dramatic changes in drunk driving laws that are more effective than lowering the legal limit.
"I think in Mississippi we've progressed a long way with our DUI law. We need to look at that, and we need to see what the results of that is - what impact it has, and then look at the data that the federal government, if they have data.....share that in their study," said Weatherford.
In 2013, the State of Mississippi began using ignition interlock devices that won't allow the cars of convicted drunk drivers to start if they're over the legal limit. Weatherford feels with these devices, and policing efforts like the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, it's too early to look at changing the legal limit in Mississippi.
"I think we need to see the results of what Mississippi's done here in the next five to 10 years before we start looking at doing anything with that DUI law," said Weatherford.
The NTSB statement also suggested the use of emerging in-vehicle technology, such as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety which is a system that will use touch-based or breath-based systems to detect driver alcohol use.