New Jersey Assembly votes to lower drunken driving limit

| 12/17/2003

The New Jersey Assembly voted 58-9 on Dec. 15 to pass A682, a bill that would reduce the blood alcohol level at which a person is considered to be guilty of drunk driving, according to information on the state Legislature’s Web site.

Under the bill, the legal level would be reduced from the current 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which is considering an identical bill, S492. That bill is still before the Senate’s Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

New Jersey is one of only a few states yet to adopt legislation signed by former President Clinton that requires each state to define legally drunk as 0.08 percent blood alcohol content or lose federal highway dollars. The Garden State stands to lose $72 million in highway aid over the next four years if it doesn’t enact the standard. Forty-five of the 50 states have adopted the new standard.

If the bill does not pass both houses before Jan. 12, it will be reintroduced during the next legislative session, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.