Drunken driving bill would ensure highway dollars

| 5/23/2003

With the threat of forfeiting $125 million in federal road construction dollars, Wisconsin lawmakers are reviewing a proposal to lower the state’s legal blood-alcohol concentration limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent.

Under AB88, introduced by Rep. John H. Ainsworth, R-Shawano, the standard for drunken driving in the state would be cut to 0.08 percent.

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.

Wisconsin would lose $125 million in federal money by 2008 if it does not lower the limit, according to The Daily Reporter. States that adopt the new limit by 2007 can recover the withheld funds.

The bill passed the Assembly Transportation Committee earlier this month by an 8-4 vote. It is now in the Assembly Rules Committee.