North Carolina is awaiting a decision from the Department of Transportation to find out if highway funding from the federal government will be cut. The feds passed “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” which requires states to meet certain minimum federal guidelines on drunk driving laws in order to receive funding for highway programs. If the state fails to meet federal guidelines then the state is forced to divert money to anti-drunk driving programs and highway safety improvements instead of using the money on general road construction.
States across the country have already been penalized for not having strict enough drunk driving laws. The Department of Transportation has evaluated North Carolina and should be releasing a decision soon. North Carolina has already been penalized once for not having strict enough drunk driving laws. North Carolina must eliminate exceptions in the law that allow repeat DWI offenders to avoid having an ignition interlock system installed on their vehicle and must expressly prohibit open containers in the passenger area of vehicles in order to comply with the federal mandate.
The North Carolina legislature has a bill up which would meet this requirements and will take effect on October 1st if it passes.
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