Senate passes fix to stave off federal penalty for DUI law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Senate has passed legislation to effectively repeal a new state law about underage drunken driving that threatens to cost the state $60 million in federal road money.

The upper chamber voted 31-1 to pass the bill Wednesday and the House is expected to follow suit later in the day.

The law that went into effect in July had raised the penalties for driving under the influence by 18- through 20-year-olds. But the measure ran afoul of federal zero-tolerance standards for underage drivers by raising the maximum allowable blood alcohol content from 0.02 percent to 0.08 percent.

Gov. Bill Haslam has called lawmakers into a special session this week to return the 0.02 percent rule and the more lenient penalties for all drivers beneath the drinking age.

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