Delaware bill seeks highway dollars, lower drunken driving standard

| Thursday, March 13, 2003

A bill in the Delaware General Assembly lowers the state’s legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers and retains valuable federal highway dollars in the state.

The Blue Hen State defines the standard for drunken driving as 0.10 percent blood alcohol content. Under HB37, sponsored by Rep. William A. Oberle, R-Beecher’s Lot, 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.

If the state doesn’t lower its standard to 0.08 by October, it stands to lose $1.6 million in federal highway funds, the Delaware State News reported recently. The penalty goes up in future years.

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

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