New report recommends lowering blood alcohol limit for drivers nationwide

MOLINE, Illinois-- Some may enjoy the occasional drink or two when going out.

And that could possibly be the maximum number of drinks a person could have if they're driving.

A new report from a panel from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is calling for the blood alcohol limit be changed from .08 to .05 nationwide to reduce alcohol impaired driving fatalities. 

"The way it's measured out is (...) a drink 80 proof whiskey,  one beer or 6 ounce pour wine would equal one drink so if somebody weighs 160 pounds if they have two drinks that would put them at the .05 limit," says Barrel House Manager, Tom Knocke.

According to the report more than 10,000 alcohol-impaired deaths occur every year and this would used as a preventing measure.

But some here in the Quad Cities aren't so sure lowering the threshold is the solution.

"I think it's still going to be out there. People have problems with drinking and driving  I don't think lowering the level is going to solve it the only thing it's probably going to do is get more tickets," said Milan resident, Pat Hartmann.

In all 50 states drivers over the age of 21 are prohibited to drive at BAC levels past or at .08.

Recently Utah passed a law to lower the level to .05 which is set to take effect in December of 2018.

Rock Island Police say DUI's have decreased over the past few years with awareness efforts and emerging technology apps.

They're waiting to see studies that show whether or not lowering the BAC levels would impact drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

"Nobody is going to support drunk driving. With new Uber and the taxis that are out there everyone has the abilities to get a ride so we're not seeing as many people drive (drunk) as well," said Lieutenant Timothy Steines.

Steines says it's still too early to tell what the impact  in the area could be if the  law is changed.

" I guess the numbers would be how many accidents or fatalities we have where people are between .05 and .08 currently," said Steines.

Other recommendations the report stated is increasing state alcohol taxes and making alcohol less available by reducing the hours and days alcohol is sold in stores bars and restaurants.

Research from the report advises doubling alcohol taxes could lead to an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths.