Haslam Hopes To Avoid Special Session Drunken Driving Law

Posted at 12:02 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 13:02:38-04

Governor Bill Haslam has been hoping to avoid having to call a special legislative session within the next five weeks to avoid losing $60 million in federal road funding.

But the Republican governor said he needed to "reserve the right" to call lawmakers back to Nashville if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to follow through on docking the state eight percent of its annual road money because of a state new law that runs afoul of underage drinking-and-driving requirements.

Federal guidelines set the maximum allowable blood alcohol content for drivers under the legal drinking age 0.02 percent. The new Tennessee law raised that limit to 0.08 for 18- to 20-year-olds, but also metes out the stronger penalties.

Haslam has been holding out hope for a "workaround" until lawmakers return in January.