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Zero Tolerancee Passed

March 20, 1996
By: Emily Goodin
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - For minors caught drinking and driving the consequence may be a lost license if the "zero tolerance" legislation in the Missouri General Assembly makes final passage.

The House and Senate have given round one approval for minors to lose their driver's licenses for 30 days, followed by 60 days of restricted driving (to and from school or work) if they are caught driving with a .02 blood alcohol level.

Drivers are considered legally intoxicated if they have a .10 blood alcohol level.

"Eighty-five percent of adults and 73 percent of youths favor making it illegal for minors to drive if alcohol is in their system," said Rep. Deleta Williams, D-Warrensburg, and sponsor of the House bill.

Insurance companies also support the legislation, said Calvin Call of the MO Insurance Coalition, but lower insurance rates for minors is still in question.

"The standard belief is that competition in the market predicts rates rather than a new law," Call said.

There may be no immediate effect, but if incidents of drinking and driving decrease over time then insurance costs could also be lowered, according to Call.