Denver (AP)- The Colorado Department of Transportation released
figures today showing that alcohol–related traffic deaths in
Colorado have dropped three and half percent since July of 2004. That was when a new state law went into effect, lowering the blood–alcohol limit for driving under the influence from
zero–point–one–percent to zero–point–zero–eight percent. State transportation officials said it's too early to say if
the two are related. In 2003, there were 258 alcohol–related traffic deaths in the state. That number fell to 249 in 2004. C–DOT estimates there will be 220 deaths this year, which would
be a 12 percent decline over last year. Governor Bill Owens says the lower blood–alcohol limit, higher legal drinking ages, tougher penalties and tougher enforcement have all helped reduce crashes. The state changed the law when the federal government threatened to withhold at least 50 (m) million dollars in transportation funds until Colorado lowered the limit.
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