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U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces
$47.8 Million In Incentive Grants to 47 States for .08 BAC Laws
June 25, 2004
Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced incentive
grants totaling $47.8 million to 47 states, the District of Columbia and
Puerto Rico for improving highway safety by lowering the legal threshold
for impaired driving to .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
The fiscal year 2004 incentive grant recipients from the U.S. Department of Transportation include all the states except Colorado, Delaware and Minnesota. These states had 2 percent of their federal highway construction funds withheld as of Oct. 1, 2003.
had nearly $5 million withheld, Delaware nearly $1.6 million, and
Minnesota nearly $5.7 million. Once a state’s law becomes effective,
all withheld funds will be restored to the state as quickly as possible.
and Minnesota have enacted laws that will become effective on July 1,
2004, and Aug. 1, 2005, respectively, and as a result were not eligible
for the grants.
Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are receiving these incentive
grants for the first time. The grant funds may be used for highway
safety or highway infrastructure projects.
“The people of 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have shown that they will not tolerate alcohol-impaired drivers on their roads,” said Secretary Mineta. “We urge Delaware to complete our work by enacting tougher laws reduce alcohol-related crashes, injuries and fatalities.”
increase in the number of states with .08 laws was prompted by an
October 2000 law that made .08 BAC the national standard for impaired
driving. The penalty for not complying with the law increases in 2
percent increments each year to a maximum of 8 percent in fiscal year
2007 and continues at that rate annually thereafter.
incentive grants announced today were authorized by the Surface
Transportation Extension Act of 2004 to encourage states to enact and
enforce laws that make it illegal for drivers with a BAC of .08 or
greater to operate a motor vehicle.
For a list of states and jurisdictions and the amounts of funding they received, go to http://www.dot.gov/affairs/nhtsa2804.htm.
Source: NHTSA 28-04