Ohio bills take aim at drunken driving, highway dollars

| 2/19/2003

Legislation introduced in the Ohio House and Senate lowers the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers and at the same time recovers valuable federal dollars.

Ohio defines the standard for drunken driving as 0.10 percent blood alcohol content. HB55 and SB32 would set the limit at 0.08, as mandated by a 2000 federal law.

Proponents said lowering the limit was necessary to avoid losing out on federal highway dollars.

Ohio has forfeited $6 million per year since 1998 and risks losing $120 million in federal highway funds in the next four years, according to local media.

A 2000 federal law requires each state’s legislature to adopt the 0.08 limit by 2004 or lose 2 percent of its highway money.