a bill that would establish a tougher standard for drunken
driving in Delaware, passed the House 39-0 on April 17.
bill would lower the state's legal blood alcohol content
level from 0.10 to 0.08 percent. In addition, if a driver
were over 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit under the
bill, that driver would not be eligible for the state's
First Offender Program.
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 limit 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.
that adopt the new limit by 2007 can recover the withheld
bill to lower the limit was killed earlier in the session.
HB37, sponsored by Rep. William A. Oberle, R-Beecher's
Lot, was withdrawn from consideration April 3.
legislators have said publicly that they opposed the effort
to lower the limit. However, according to The New Castle-Wilmington
News-Journal, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner supports the bill
and listed it as a legislative priority for this year.