Father who lost daughter says no to lowering blood alcohol level

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - This week, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended lowering the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05.

So it might come as a shock that a father who lost his daughter to a drunk driver would not be in favor of that lower limit, but former Police Chief Alan Weatherford is not.

"As a father, I just don't see the point," Weatherford said.

He believes enforcing current laws and convicting DUI offenders is the best way to make the roads safer.

"We need to have more officers trained in standard field sobriety trained and get these offenders to court," Weatherford said. "Give law enforcement the opportunity to do their job and let's not have these back door discussions and not processing DUIs, which is very concerning."

Weatherford also said stricter penalties is needed for repeat offenders such as ignition lock devices.Restaurant and bar owner Rob Stinson agrees.

"If 80 percent of DUI offenders are repeat offenders, that's our problem," Stinson said.

Sgt. Damon McDaniel with Gulfport Police Department's Traffic Division has a different view, he believes stricter laws could make a difference.

"It will help get the message out there and maybe, maybe someone will catch on that law enforcement and the state government are taking a stern stance on DUI," McDaniel said.

While everyone is different, .05 could be just one drink for a 120 pound woman or two drinks for a 160 pound man.

"Why take that chance, if it's one drink or 20 drinks, when you are risking your life and the lives of others," McDaniel said.

"If you drink, don't drive. Designate a driver and let's not get hung up on the .05 issue," Weatherford said.

The National Transportation Safety Board made the recommendation that all states lower the legal limit from .08 to .05, but it's up to state governments to pass change to the law.

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