the loss of $54 million in federal highway dollars, the Massachusetts
House unanimously voted May 29 to toughen the state’s drunken driving
Senate and Gov. Mitt Romney already have backed the legislation,
which makes a 0.08 percent blood alcohol level proof of intoxication
rather than just another piece of evidence for juries to consider.
is the only state in which drivers are not considered impaired if
they register a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit, The Salem News reported.
current law, registering a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or
higher on a breathalyzer test creates “a permissible inference”
that a driver was drunk – that then requires the prosecutor to go
one step further and prove the driver was impaired. H3873 would
remove that burden of proof from prosecutors.
Bay State has until October to change the law or lose 2 percent
– $5.4 million – of its highway money in the fiscal year starting
in July, the newspaper reported. The losses multiply over the next
four years to a total of $54 million.
state can recover the withheld funds if it adopts the stricter rules