Ed Rendell signed legislation Tuesday, Sept. 30, toughening Pennsylvania’s
drunken driving law just hours before a federal deadline elapsed.
new law lowers the blood-alcohol limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08
percent and toughens penalties for drivers with especially high
blood-alcohol levels. It also gives the Pennsylvania Transportation
Department authority to install an ignition interlock device in
the car of a repeat offender for one year.
governor’s signature hours before the Oct. 1 deadline allowed the
state to avoid losing $11.8 million in federal transportation funds,
or 2 percent of certain highway road dollars, Philadelphia’s KYW
TV reported. The figure would have increased to 8 percent –
$41 million – if the standard were not adopted by 2007.
sets up increasing levels of punishment for higher blood-alcohol
levels – 0.08 to 0.099; 0.10 to 0.159; and 0.16 and up – all becoming
more severe with each additional offense.
lower limit took effect immediately, while most of the other provisions
go into effect Feb. 1.