Colorado kills tougher DUI, seat-belt rules

| 4/15/2003

The Senate Appropriations Committee has killed a bill that would permit Colorado police to pull over drivers for not wearing a seat belt and to stiffen the state's drunken driving standards for DUIs from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.

The bill, SB125, would have brought Colorado into compliance with a federal law and prevented the state from losing millions in federal highway dollars. 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. Sen. Ken Arnold, R-Westminster, the bill's sponsor, told The Denver Post the state could lose $4.9 million next year alone, and eventually stands to lose up to $50 million.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-1 Feb. 26 in favor of SB125. However, the Appropriations Committee locked in a 5-5 tie April 11, which left the bill “postponed indefinitely” and effectively dead, a spokeswoman for the committee told Land Line.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig may be reached at