About 20 states could
lose millions of highway construction dollars if they do not pass
a law lowering the legal limits for impaired driving before October.
The National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration will impose sanctions on states that do not
comply with the national trend of lowering the legal limits for
impaired drivers to a 0.08 blood-alcohol content.
For example, if the West
Virginia Legislature does not lower the limit during this session,
it will lose the $2.6 million in highway funds it currently receives, The Herald-Dispatch reports. If Ohio fails to enact 0.08
legislation, it will forfeit $11.9 million in grants from its highway
budget for next year, according to the paper.
Both Ohio and West Virginia
allow a 0.10 blood-alcohol content limit. However, NHTSA’s penalty
stiffens each year states go without lowering the limit to 0.08.
Statistics show reducing
the limits for blood-alcohol content could reduce the number of
lives lost each year to DUI crashes, according to NHTSA. The government
estimates that 500 lives would be saved each year if every state
passes 0.08 legislation. NHTSA said 17,448 people died in crashes
involving alcohol in 2001.