Clinton To Call For National DUI Standard
By John King/CNN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 27) -- President Bill Clinton is poised to call for a uniform, national blood alcohol level standard for drunken driving, CNN has learned.
Administration sources say Clinton will push next week to line up congressional support for the proposal, which would tie federal highway funds to a national standard.
Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) are pushing the idea in the Senate, and sources said Clinton was planning an event to endorse the senators' bill and call for congressional passage this year.
Clinton will call for every state to adopt a .08 blood alcohol level as the legal limit for driving under the influence. The levels now vary from state to state, though an administration policy aide said most states currently set a higher limit -- a .10 blood alcohol level.
One of the sources said studies comparing states with the .10 level to states with the lower .08 level indicate the national standard would save about 600 lives a year.
Anticipating criticism that such decisions are best left to the states, the administration is gathering data on the reduction of traffic fatalities following the push by Elizabeth Dole, Transportation secretary in the Reagan administration, to tie federal highway funding to state adoption of seat belt laws.