Blood Alcohol Limit To Drop Under New Law

The blood alcohol rate to be considered legally drunk in Mississippi would drop from .10 percent to .08 percent effective July 1 under a bill signed into law by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

Musgrove signed a number of bills Monday. The DUI bill would tighten laws by lowering the measure of intoxication.

The bills come in response to a federal mandate that states set a .08 percent standard by 2004. States refusing to do so will see millions of dollars in federal highway construction money shifted to public safety programs.

The difference between .08 percent and .10 percent could come from having one or two extra drinks in a short period, experts say.

The governor also signed a bill that will allow state wildlife officers to donate illegally killed deer, game birds and fish to needy recipients or to jails that prepare food for prisoners. The law goes into effect July 1.

State law already allowed the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to give the seized animals to charitable institutions or to state facilities. The bill adds the needy and law enforcement agencies with facilities to prepare food for prisoners.

Other bills signed by Musgrove:

  • Designate as eligible for a scenic river designation Magee's Creek in Walthall County from the confluence of Varnell Creek to the Bogue Chitto River. The law took effect when Musgrove signed it.
  • Prohibit the seduction of minors over the Internet. Those convicted would face penalties of up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The law takes effect July 1.
  • Declare candidates elected when only one person qualifies for an office. The law takes effect after Justice Department approval.