[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 12, 1984

'One for the road' can lead to loss of license for Minnesota drivers

JAMA. 1984;252(14):1837. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350140007004

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


A major problem associated with abuse of alcohol, of course, is the intoxicated operator of a vehicle in traffic. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington, DC, reports that suspension of operators' licenses by direct administrative action, rather than prolonged court procedures, "is a prompt, effective way to remove driving-while-intoxicated offenders from the road."

The agency cites the state of Minnesota, where a law provides for a 90-day license revocation that can be served directly by the investigating police officer to any driver whose breath test indicates a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.10 mg/dL. If the driver refuses to let authorities test his or her breath, the license can be suspended for 180 days. (The driver has the right to request a hearing on such suspensions.)

The federal agency says Minnesota's law originally was passed in 1976, then strengthened two years ago. Diane K. Steed, administrator of