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Bill lowering legal blood alcohol content for Missouri drivers passes out of Senate

May 02, 2001
By: Jennifer Ginsberg
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - State Senators overwhelmingly passed a bill to change the legal blood alcohol content for Missouri drivers from .10 to .08 on Wednesday. Now, the bill goes to a conference committee made up of members of the House and Senate.

While the bill's handler, Sen. Morris Westfall, R-Halfway, is confident the bill will pass, he is concerned with an amendment to allow circuit judges rather than traffic courts to hear arrest petitions.

"The judges should be deciding these cases that are serious, and sometimes need opinions written," said Sen. John Schneider, D-St. Louis County, the amendment's sponsor.

Westfall, who disagrees on the amendment, said information given to him by the Missouri Bar Association "opposes what Schneider is trying to do" and argues the amendment could be "a stumbling block".