Reporter Beau Zimmer "gets drunk" testing proposed .05 blood alcohol level

2:45 AM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
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New Port Richey, Florida- A cooler of ice cold beer, a car, and supervision from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office DUI enforcement team.

We wanted to know how much alcohol it would take to face impairment and reach the new proposed .05 blood alcohol level.

Without anything to drink, deputies following behind me said I was an excellent driver in full control of the vehicle I was driving.

But what about after one, two, or even three bottles of beer? 10 News social media producer Taylor Katz and I were each assigned to drink three beers.

After quickly downing our drinks, it was time for deputies to put us to the test.

Twenty minutes after finishing my third beer, I definitely felt like I had a little to drink, but that I could still probably get home safely...however my blood alcohol level and performance during a field sobriety test may have reflected otherwise.

The field sobriety exercises came first.

PICS: Beau & Taylor take field sobriety test after having 3 beers each

"With your left foot, put it on the line," instructed Deputy Matt Rosenbloom of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office STEP Unit.

After completing the entire set, Deputy Rosenbloom said I showed only minor signs of impairment.

"Overall, with your performance on these exercises, I would not be placing you under arrest at this time," he told me, adding, "I feel like you're borderline."

Next was the breath test, which showed the actual blood alcohol level in my system. I blew very close, but just under the proposed .05 legal limit.

Next up, Taylor went through the same set of tests.

"Once you've begun the exercises, don't stop until you've completed. Do you understand all of the instructions," Deputy Rosenbloom asked.

Taylor seemed alright at first, but the deputy picked up on several sure signs she'd been drinking.

"In this case, had you displayed a couple more indicators, I would have arrested you even though you're still at below a .08. I could still get a conviction based on your impairment," he told her.

Taylor blew a point 0.48, also barely below the proposed .05 limit.

So what if we'd had just a couple more drinks?

"Both of you would be going with me to jail," said Deputy Rosenbloom.

It's a valuable important lesson for those who might feel perfectly okay to drive.

"People underestimate the power of alcohol and how it affects them," said Deputy Rosenbloom. "Maybe if they see the limit is down to .05, they'll have a second thought before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle."

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Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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