Jacksonville Beach bars react to NTSB potentially lowering BAC level

Bars consider how much they may lose

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – As the National Transportation Safety Board considers lowering the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05, bars like the Shim Sham Room at Jacksonville Beach have to consider how much money they might lose.

"When I first heard, I was a little shocked, thought that will affect business," said manager Drew Brigman. "Any bar, any restaurant, that was my first thing."

Brigman manages the Shim Sham Room and isn't quite sure if the state needs to lower the legal limit to get behind the wheel.

"I think it's good where it's at. I don't know why they're getting rid of .08. I think .08 is good," said Brigman. "You do all the scales where someone is 160 pounds. That's 2 beers."

Some businesses worry that will keep a lot of drinkers from having more than one drink. But at the bar next door, Breanna Broxton waits tables and doesn't think the new law will slow drinkers down.

"Jax beach is a total hot spot for drinkers," said Broxton. "I don't think it will do anything to our business."

As far as people enjoying themselves at the beach Friday night, some are split on whether this will work and save the roughly thousand lives a year the NTSB predicts it will save.

"I think it's a good idea. I think it's a great idea," said Sheila Hughes.

"Less fatalities. People learning to control themselves, which will be a good thing," said another.

"I don't agree with it because having a beer with dinner and it puts you over the limit," said Noah Bryant. "I enjoy a beer with dinner, a beer or two. It's not really right to lower it down so you can't enjoy dinner."