A western Kentucky lawmaker is proposing that Kentucky adopt stricter regulations when it comes to drunken drivers.
Democratic Rep. Hubert Collins of Wittensville told the Messenger-Inquirer that he wants to lower the state’s legal blood-alcohol limit from .08 to .05.
The push comes after the National Transportation Safety Board recommended in May that states lower their legal limit to 0.05. The agency said that more than 10,000 people are killed nationwide each year in traffic accidents involving intoxicated drivers and another 173,000 people are injured. It noted that more than 100 countries have legal blood-alcohol level limits of 0.05 or lower.
“They (the NTSB) believe this can really save lives,” Collins said.
Collins is chairman of the House Transportation Committee and says the bill is comparable to other measures lawmakers have taken to try to decrease the number of traffic accidents, including a law that made texting while driving illegal.
He said he doesn’t know how much support the measure might get, but it will likely face opposition.
“Any time you have safety involved, people don’t seem to want to get the job done,” Collins said. “I know there’s plenty of ‘anti’ against it, (such as) the alcohol lobby and retail, the people who benefit from the sale of alcoholic beverages.”
Collins said either his committee or the House Judiciary Committee, which handles crimes and punishments, could get the bill for review.
“In some way or another, we have to get something done,” Collins said, adding that it would be another deterrent to drinking and driving.
He said motorists need to know that there will be consequences to driving under the influence.
The next session of the General Assembly begins in January.
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