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.08 approved

A plan to lower the blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving to 0.08 was approved by the House, but an effort to quicken its enactment to this summer was rejected.

On a vote of 113-15, the House approved HF97/SF58*, which reduces from 0.10 to 0.08 the legal limit for alcohol consumption while driving, effective Sept. 1, 2007.

The Senate bill calls for implementation on Aug. 1, 2004.

Members arguing against a 2004 effective date said early enactment would have pushed implementation costs onto the counties.

Minnesota is one of three states that have not adopted federally mandated 0.08 blood-alcohol limits. As such, it risks the withholding of $100 million in federal transportation funds until the lower level is implemented.

The House sponsor is Rep. Steve Strachan (R-Farmington). The bill now returns to the Senate, where Sen. Leo Foley (DFL-Coon Rapids) is the sponsor.

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