than a week before a federal deadline, the Pennsylvania Senate passed
a bill to lower the state’s legal blood-alcohol limit for motorists.
Senate passed the measure Sept. 24 by a 47-1 vote. It now heads
to the House, which is expected to pass the bill by the end of the
month, The Lewistown Sentinel reported.
addition to lowering the blood-alcohol limit from 0.10 percent to
0.08 percent, SB8 toughens penalties for drivers with especially
high blood-alcohol levels and ensures that the Pennsylvania Transportation
Department has authority to install an ignition interlock device
in the car of a repeat offender for one year.
the lower limit in place by Oct. 1, the state risks losing $11 million
in federal transportation funds, or 2 percent of certain highway
road dollars. That would increase to 8 percent – $41 million – if
the standard were not adopted by 2007.
bill sets up increasing levels of punishment for higher blood-alcohol
levels – 0.08 to 0.099; 0.10 to 0.159; and 0.16 and up – all becoming
more severe with each additional offense.