Political News

Facing $60M penalty, Tennessee repeals underage DUI law

Posted September 14

— Tennessee lawmakers have repealed an underage drunken driving law that threatened to cost the state $60 million in road money by running afoul of federal zero-tolerance standards.

The state House and Senate overwhelmingly passed the legislation Wednesday.

A law that went into effect in July had raised the driving-under-the-influence penalties for 18- through 20-year-olds. But by also raising the maximum allowable blood alcohol content from 0.02 percent to 0.08 percent for those drivers, the state stood to lose 8 percent of its federal road funding money on Oct. 1

Gov. Bill Haslam hastily called lawmakers into a special session this week to reinstate the 0.02 percent rule, along with more lenient penalties for drivers below the legal drinking age. The session is projected to cost the state up to $100,000.

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