Minnesota seeks lower drunken driving standard, highway dollars

| 3/20/2003

A Minnesota Senate committee has approved lowering the state’s drunken driving threshold, according to local media.

The bill, approved by a voice vote Feb. 26, would lower the allowed blood-alcohol content of drivers to 0.08 percent from 0.10.

Minnesota would get millions of dollars in federal highway funding if lawmakers pass the bill. A 2-year-old federal law requires all states to adopt the 0.08 standard by October or risk losing millions in highway money.

State Sen. Leo Foley, DFL-Coon Rapids, SF58’s sponsor, told Willmar’s West Central Tribune $6.6 million would be lost next year and nearly $20 million in two years if the bill does not pass.

The bill has at least two more stops in Senate committees before the full body can vote on it. A similar House bill – HF97 – has not started its journey in the House.