NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - District Attorney Ben David supports a measure that would lower the legal definition of drunk driving from .08 to .05. Read more about those recommendations here.
"The deadliest weapon here in the 5th district is not a gun, it's not a knife," he said. "It's a car being driven by an impaired driver."
David said it would save lives and prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.
"The strong message it sends is that any amount of alcohol in your system, you better let your friends drive because the truth is folks think they're a lot less impaired than they actually are," he said.
David says they prosecute around 3,000 drunk driving cases a year in his district, which includes New Hanover and Pender counties.
He thinks the court system can handle the extra cases that .05 could bring if states decide to adopt the new standard. However, when the legal limit was moved from .1 to .08, it took 21 years for all 50 states to adopt the new standards.
"People are wildly off in how impaired they actually think they are," he said. "It gives people the false sense of confidence that .08 is really out there. The truth is it doesn't take you a lot to get you very impaired."
On average, a 30-year old man who weighs 180 lbs. would reach a BAC of .05 by drinking four beers in an hour. He would reach .08 by drinking six.
A woman who is 30 and weighs 130 lbs. would only have to drink two glasses of wine in an hour to get a BAC of .05.
However, alcohol affects everyone differently, based on a number of factors.
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