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California committee approves lower blood alcohol level.

California committee approves lower blood alcohol level

The California Assembly's Committee on Public Safety recently voted 5-0 to lower the blood alcohol level for presumed intoxication from .10 percent to .08 percent. The measure now moves on to the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee where hearings have not yet been scheduled.

SB408, which has already received Senate approval, is sponsored by Sen. Bill Leonard (R-Redlands). Said Leonard before the Public Safety vote, "I want everyone to know that they are impaired, even at very low blood-alcohol levels. I hope for a deterrence, that's what I'm trying to do."

The legislation lowers California's current legal level of presumed intoxication from a tenth of a percentage point to .08, thus "making it easier to prosecute people for drunken driving," according to Rep. John Burton, the committee chairman.

"People should know that they can reach that level with a minimum number of drinks," Leonard stated. "The important point is that at .10 a person is so intoxicated, so impaired that he cannot operate a motor vehicle safely.

"If you reduce it to .08, you at least have a little way to go before you get to that point," he added.

Leonard's bill is supported by the state attorney general's office and the California Highway Patrol.
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Title Annotation:California Assembly Committee on Public Safety
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jul 31, 1989
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