West Virginia road funds cut

| 9/24/2003

West Virginia stands to lose $2.6 million a year in federal highway aid starting next month because the state’s legal blood alcohol concentration limit remains at 0.10 percent rather than 0.08 percent.

Since 2000, West Virginia is one of only six states yet to adopt legislation signed by then-President Clinton that requires each state to define legally drunk as 0.08 percent blood alcohol content or risk losing 2 percent of its highway dollars.

Highway officials told the Charleston Daily Mail the lost money would hurt projects around the state.

“Whether it’s paving or a signal light or improvements or whatever, there’s $2 million of work that you were going to do that you won’t do,” Norm Roush, deputy commissioner for the Division of Highways, said.

While $2.6 million will be taken from transportation this fiscal year, that number will increase every year West Virginia keeps its higher drunken driving limit. The state stands to lose more than $26 million over four years.

If the state passes a law before 2007, it could regain the transportation money lost this year.