Federal grants allowed by a new federal transportation act are bringing Utah $1.4 million to fight drunken driving.
Vice President Al Gore announced the grants Thursday. They are given under provisions of the recently passed Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).It allots more than $700 million in federal grants to states over the next six years to combat drunken driving.
"The people of Utah already have taken a tough stance against drinking and driving, and we could save even more lives by passing a tough national standard of impaired driving at .08 blood alcohol concentration (which Utah has.) I continue to challenge the Congress to enact this life-saving measure," Gore said.
Utah will receive $1.2 million under one provision to reward states that have and enforce a law presuming drivers to be drunk when they have a .08 blood alcohol level. Utah's standard dates back to August 1983.
The remaining $222,000 to the state comes from an incentive grant program to help states enact and enforce other programs that deter drinking and driving.