the threat of losing millions in federal transportation funds, the Pennsylvania
Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday to lower the state’s blood-alcohol
concentration limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08.
sponsored by state Sen. Charles Dent, R-Lehigh Valley, now heads back to the
House for final approval before going to the governor.
bill requires repeat offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed in
their vehicles for one year. The devices require drivers to perform breath
tests before starting their vehicles, as well as periodically while they are
driving, and trigger a shutdown of the engine if the driver’s blood-alcohol
level is too high.
signed into law, it would put the state in compliance with a national mandate
by Congress to lower the legal limit to 0.08, Philadelphia’s KYW TV reported.
Without the change, the state could lose millions in federal highway dollars by
The House version of the bill –
HB4 – would go a step further, setting up a tiered system of punishment that
would impose harsher penalties, such as increased prison time and fines, for
repeat offenders and drivers with excessively high blood-alcohol levels.