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US Congress ratifies new drink-drive limit

Published:  23 July, 2008

Cutbacks in Federal highway fundingforce new limit

the US Congress has ratified .08 BAC (80mg/100ml of blood) as the Federal standard for determining drink-driving. This follows the Senate's passing of a national blood alcohol standard of .08 as part of the $54.7 billion Transport funding Act in July. If the 31 States that have a BAC limit of 0.1 do not comply by 2003, they will face a 2% cutback in Federal highway funding in the first year, rising to 8% by 2006. The US Department of Transportation believes that the .08 BAC measure will reduce fatalities from drunk-driving accidents by 500 a year. This is challenged by John Doyle of the American Beverage Institute as the average BAC level for drivers involved in fatal accidents is 0.17. He believes, together with several members of Congress, that the Government would achieve better results by offering State grants for more effective anti drink-driving campaigns.