NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he’ll call a special session of the General Assembly to try to fix the state’s drunken driving law and save $60 million in federal highway funds.
The move Friday comes after the U.S. Transportation Department determined state law doesn’t comply with a federal “zero tolerance” drunken driving statute. The governor’s office said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated Tennessee would permanently lose $60 million if it remained out of compliance as of Oct. 1.
Under federal rules the maximum allowable blood alcohol content for drivers under 21 is 0.02 percent. The new Tennessee law raised that limit to 0.08 percent for 18- to 20-year-olds but added tougher penalties for violators. The 0.02 standard remained in place for drivers through age 17.