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Senate Passes Drunken Driving Amendment

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 4) -- The Senate passed legislation Wednesday that sets a national blood alcohol standard for drunken driving. By a vote of 62 to 32, the measure would require states to lower standards to blood alcohol levels of .08.

The amendment is attached to the national highway bill. This means if states fail to comply, they would face a loss of federal highway construction funds.

Fifteen states currently have the .08 limit.

Opponents argued it was an issue of states' rights, and the Senate should not impose another federal mandate.

One of the co-sponsors of the amendment, Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) said there was "no doubt about it" the lower alcohol level would save lives.

Some studies have suggested between 500 and 600 lives could be spared if the lower limit becomes law.

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Wednesday March 4, 1998

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Senate Passes Drunken Driving Amendment