WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate-passed measure that would establish the first national standard for drunken driving could hit a roadblock in the House as negotiators from both chambers try to adopt a compromise transportation spending bill this year.
Other contentious issues include a proposal that would cut operating hours for truckers and a move to allow a study of ways to improve fuel efficiency for sport utility vehicles.
The drunken driving provision, which was contained in a $54.7 billion bill the Senate passed on Thursday, would make a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content the allowable limit for drivers nationwide.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., chief advocate of the national standard, said 0.08 nationwide would save 500 to 700 lives a year.
But the House has blocked past Senate efforts to make the standard 0.08, which is now the limit in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The other 32 states have less stringent 0.10 percent levels.
The Senate bill would deduct a state's federal highway trust fund share, 5 percent from 2004, if it does not adopt the 0.08 level.
The Senate bill would prevent the Transportation Department from spending federal funds to impose new rules for how many hours a truck or bus driver may be behind the wheel each day. The House has proposed no such ban.
Fatigue is blamed for a third of the more than 5,000 truck-related fatalities every year. The Transportation Department has proposed a rule that would limit driving to 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
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