Michigan Senate backs lower blood-alcohol limit

| Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Michigan's legal blood-alcohol concentration limit would be lowered under legislation approved last week in the Senate. The proposal also helps secure millions in federal highway aid.

HB4247, sponsored by Rep. William Van Regenmorter, R-Hudsonville, won approval on a 37-0 vote July 3. It returns to the House for approval of changes made in the Senate.

The bill would lower the state's drunken driving standard from 0.10 percent to 0.08. It would also help the state avoid losing 2 percent - $9.2 million - of its highway dollars next year, Grand Rapids' WOOD TV reported.

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. Forty-two other states have already adopted the lower threshold.

Michigan has until September 30 to certify to the federal government that a law is in place.