Lansing — Michigan's blood alcohol limit for drunk diving would remain the same under legislation that cleared the Michigan House on Wednesday.
The two-bill package keeps the state's 0.08 blood alcohol content limit in place, eliminating a sunset in the 10-year-old law that lowered the limit from 0.10.
Lawmakers are fast-tracking the legislation to ensure the state doesn't lose $51 million in highway funds from the federal government, which requires states to have 0.08 blood alcohol limits for drivers.
The state's 0.08 blood alcohol limit has existed since 2003, and law enforcement officials contend it has saved lives.
Since 2002, the number of alcohol-related crashes has dropped 61 percent to 9,855 in 2011from 15,872, according to state accident statistics.
The number of alcohol-related traffic deaths has decreased 33 percent to 282 in 2011 from 422 in 2002, statistics show.
"This bill is not about roads," said Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township. "It's not about the consumption of alcohol. It's about keeping Michiganders safe."
The 110-member state House unanimously approved the bills Wednesday with immediate effect. The legislative package, House Bills 4093 and 4131, now heads to the Senate.
Kesto is the sponsor of House Bill 4131. Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township, is sponsoring House Bill 4093.