in the North Dakota Senate lowers the state’s legal blood-alcohol
limit for drivers and at the same time retains federal highway
state law, the standard for drunken driving is 0.10 percent blood
alcohol content. HB1161 would cut the limit to 0.08, as mandated
by a 2000 federal law.
said lowering the limit was necessary to avoid losing out on federal
If the state
fails to lower the limit to 0.08, it will lose $32 million in
federal road funds in the next four years, according to local
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.
to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lowering
North Dakota’s limit to 0.08 would reduce alcohol-related fatalities
by 8 percent and save an estimated $2 per licensed driver.
The bill passed
the House Feb. 13 by a 75 to 18 vote. It is in the Senate Transportation
Committee. A hearing on the measure was scheduled for March 13.