Iowa bills target drunken driving, highway dollars

| 3/11/2003

Legislation in the Iowa General Assembly lowers the state’s legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers and at the same time retains valuable federal dollars.

Iowa defines the standard for drunken driving as 0.10 percent blood alcohol content. Under HF43 and SF37, the standard would be cut to 0.08.

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.

Iowa would forfeit about $47 million in federal highway funds if it fails to act, The Quad-City Times reported.

States that adopt the new limit by 2007 can recover the withheld funds.