LANSING — The House approved bipartisan legislation today to maintain the state’s legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at 0.08 today, helping to ensure the safety of Michigan residents and families.
State Rep. Patrick Green’s House Bill 4548 extends the sunset on the BAC standard of 0.08 from Oct. 1, 2018 to Oct. 1, 2023. House Bill 4547, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, updates sentencing guidelines to match the changes made in HB 4548.
“Our roads are becoming safer with every year at the 0.08 standard,” said Kesto, chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. “Without these two bills, we’d be allowing BAC to increase to 0.10 and people would be encouraged to drink more before driving. That’s a dangerous message to send, one that Rep. Green and myself have no interest in allowing.”
Rep. Green agreed that safety is the focus of the legislation.
“Extending the sunset will ensure the continued safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians, as well as allowing our state to maintain current levels of federal transportation funding,” said Green, (D-Warren). “I thank the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, MADD, Michigan Brain Injury Association of Michigan, Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council, and Michigan Sheriffs’ Association for their support of this legislation. Working together we have developed a win for everyone on our improving roads.”
In 2000, federal legislation passed that required all states to establish a 0.08 BAC level for a state’s drunk driving offense by October 2003. Failure to do so would have resulted in federal highway funding sanctions implemented for each year a state failed to pass such legislation. In 2003, Michigan enacted Public Act 61, which lowered the BAC level to 0.08 with a 10-year sunset provision. Public Act 23 of 2013 extended the sunset on the 0.08 BAC level for another five years to Oct. 1, 2018.