state lawmakers are ready to bow to pressure to preserve millions
in federal highway dollars, according to local media.
Legislation Review Committee gave tentative approval Oct. 15 to
support lowering the state's drunken-driving threshold from 0.10
percent to 0.08 percent, The Durango Herald reported. The measure
will be introduced when the Legislature convenes in January 2004.
A 2000 federal
law required each state's legislature to adopt the 0.08 limit by
Oct. 1, 2003, or lose 2 percent of its highway money. Colorado is
one of only four states (Delaware, Minnesota and West Virginia being
the others) to defy the federal mandate.
previous refusal to adhere to the standard cost the state $4.9 million
in highway dollars when lawmakers ignored the Oct. 1 deadline, The
Denver Post reported. Next year, the loss will be $9.9 million,
with the penalty growing to nearly $20 million each year beginning
the federal blackmail as much as anyone," Sen. Andy McElhany,
R-Colorado Springs, told The Herald. "But there's no point
to continue to make a point that nobody in the federal government
cares if we make or not."
adopt the new limit by Oct. 1, 2006, can recover the withheld funds.