[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[April 1, 1998]
[Pages 483-484]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on House Action Against Legislation To Establish a Uniform 
Blood Alcohol Content Standard To Combat Drunk Driving
April 1, 1998

    It is imperative that we set a uniform standard of .08 blood-alcohol 
content to protect our young people from harm, make our streets safer, 
and help us crack down on drunk driving nationwide. Our country will not 
tolerate irresponsible acts that endanger our children and our Nation.
    I am disappointed that the House Rules Committee has decided to keep 
the critical .08 legislation from coming to the floor under the BESTEA 
transportation bill. By establishing a strong but sensible limit on 
blood-alcohol content, we could save as many as 600 lives a year. Saving 
lives and promoting responsibility should not be partisan issues.
    Last month, under the leadership of Senator Lautenberg and Senator DeWine, the 
Senate overwhelmingly supported the .08 standard for drinking and 
driving. The House leadership, however, once again is hiding behind 

[[Page 484]]

maneuvers by blocking this effort to protect children and help put an 
end to drunk driving. The American people deserve better than this.
    Last night's setback was by no means final. Building on our victory 
in the Senate we will work to overcome this roadblock by the House 
leadership. We will continue the fight against drunk driving on every 
front. Today, as part of our comprehensive effort, we are announcing 
grants made possible by the leadership of Senator Byrd that will help combat underage drinking. I stand ready to 
aid Representative Lowey and Representative 
Canady as they continue their efforts to 
pass a sensible, uniform DUI standard. We will keep fighting to put the 
brakes on drunk driving.