Mother of Drunk Driving Victim Speaks Out About Lower BAC Recomm - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Mother of Drunk Driving Victim Speaks Out About Lower BAC Recommendation

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

As we all know, drunk driving is illegal but people do it anyway. Now the National Transportation Safety Board is making a recommendation they believe could help eliminate the problem.

They're suggesting that states should lower the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in an effort to keep impaired drivers off the road.

For example, just two drinks for a woman who is 120 pounds could put her BAC between .06 and .08.

It's a tragedy most people think will never happen to them but according to the NTSB, 10,000 people are killed on the roads in alcohol-impaired crashes each year.

But the agency is on a mission to get that number down to zero.

The NTSB is recommending all states drop the BAC limit from .08 down to .05.

"A lot of people say well 'I'm ok at an .05.,'" Debra Linton, the mother of a drunk driving victim, said. "There is a delay there and they've proven that statistically."

NTSB officials say this move could help save hundreds of lives each year and Debra Linton agrees.

"Now with this traffic as bad as it is, and you introduce alcohol into it, it's just crazy," Linton said.

Debra knows first hand the consequences of drunk driving. In 2006, she and her 18-year-old daughter Kayla were driving back home to Andrews in separate vehicles when Kayla was hit head on by a drunk driver.

Debra was just a few minutes behind her daughter when she drove up on the accident. Kayla was killed instantly.

"We loved her dearly, she loved us. It's just senseless," Debra said. "I found out later that night that it was a drunk driver and within a couple of days I knew I wanted her car in a trailer to educate people about drinking and driving."

She's now a volunteer for Stop DWI in Midland.

According to a study by the NTSB, nearly 1,300 Texans were killed in drunk driving accidents between 2008 and 2010.

Debra said the lowered limit could make people think twice before getting behind the wheel.

"If it would prevent it, I'm all for it," she said. "You may think you're ok but your BAC will tell different."

She said many people may not like the recommendation however she hopes Kayla's story might make them see otherwise.

"She's got a niece now that she never met so it's not about us anymore. It's about saving all those people out there and keeping your families safe," Debra said.

It's up to each state to decide if they want to lower their BAC limit.

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