Colorado Senate panel OKs plan to lower DUI threshold

| Wednesday, April 28, 2004

A Colorado Senate panel on April 23 passed a proposal to lower the state’s blood-alcohol limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent.

Included in the bill are provisions permitting liquor stores to hand out drink samples and restaurant customers to tote home partially consumed bottles of wine, The Denver Post reported.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to forward the bill to the full Senate. It previously passed the House.

Passage of HB1021, sponsored by Rep. Bob Briggs, R-Westminster, would bring the state in compliance with a federal decree that states adopt the lower limit or lose federal highway dollars. Colorado is one of only three states (Delaware and Minnesota being the others) yet to conform to the federal mandate.

Colorado’s previous refusal to adhere to the standard cost the state $4.9 million in highway funds when lawmakers ignored the Oct. 1, 2003, deadline, the newspaper reported. The state could lose $50 million if it doesn’t lower the threshold by 2007.

States that adopt the new limit by Oct. 1, 2006, can recover the withheld funds.

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