SPONSOR: Caskey (Hosmer)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Criminal Law by a vote of 11 to 4.

This substitute changes the crime of driving with excessive blood alcohol content by lowering the percentage of alcohol permissible in the driver's blood from .10 to .08.

FISCAL NOTE: No impact on state funds.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that the substitute is necessary because medical evidence shows that all drivers are impaired at .08, and Missouri should take a more pro-active role in curbing drunk driving.

Testifying for the substitute were Senator Caskey; Joyce Marshall, Director, Division of Highway Safety; Highway Patrol; and Gary Kempker, Director, Department of Public Safety.

OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the substitute say that lowering the permissible blood alcohol content to .08 does not target problem drinkers, who are responsible for the majority of alcohol-related crashes. Others who opposed the substitute say that its provisions are not sufficiently strict to ensure compliance with federal requirements, risking the opportunity for additional federal highway funding, and the substitute does not encourage other methods of reducing intoxication-related offenses, such as the use of ignition interlocks.

Testifying against the substitute were Anheuser Busch, Inc.; Missouri Association of Beverage Retailers; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association; Missouri Restaurant Association; and Clyde Angle.

Sarah Madden, Legislative Analyst