Mineta: Less booze - states don't lose

| 10/4/2004

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta recently announced that 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have lowered their lawful blood alcohol content laws to 0.08 and therefore received $47.8 billion in fiscal year 2004 incentive grants as a reward.

Colorado, Delaware and Minnesota had 2 percent of their highway construction funds withheld as of the end of fiscal year 2003, Oct. 1, 2003.

Colorado and Minnesota enacted 0.08 blood alcohol content laws that take effect July 1, 2004, and Aug. 1, 2005, respectively, and were not eligible for the grants. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were the latest additions to the 0.08 roster.

States were encouraged to adopt the 0.08 level when Congress adopted it. The U.S. Department of Transportation says the penalty for not complying increases in 2 percent increments each year to a maximum of 8 percent in fiscal year 2007 and continues at that rate annually thereafter.