Delaware kills lower drunken driving limit for this year

| 4/9/2003

A bill in Delaware General Assembly to lowers the state's legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers was withdrawn April 3 and is dead for the year.

Under HB37, sponsored by Rep. William A. Oberle, R-Beecher's Lot, the state's current standard for drunken drivers, 0.10 percent blood alcohol content, would have been 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 BAC to 0.08 by October, it stands to lose $1.6 million in federal highway funds, the Delaware State News reported recently. The penalty escalates in future years. States that adopt the new limit by 2007 can recover the withheld funds.