The United States has long been concerned with Colombia as a major producer and trafficker of the illegal narcotics entering this country: first marijuana, then cocaine, and now also heroin. Colombia's drug trafficking business has been dominated by two cartels during the two decades in which cocaine trafficking became a major activity: first the Medellin cartel, which dominated during the 1980s and then the Cali cartel, which dominated during the early 1990s. With the arrests of the major Cali cartel leaders in the mid-1990s, independent traffickers have filled the void.
At the 0.08 BAC level of alcohol, braking, steering, lane changing, and judgment are degraded and the driving performance of virtually all drivers is substantially impaired. During the debate on reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs, an amendment that would require each state either to enact a 0.08 BAC law or face the loss of a portion of its Federal Highway Trust Fund monies passed the Senate and will likely be considered in the House. This proposal raises questions about the effectiveness and impacts of a 0.08 BAC law, the rights of states versus the federal government, and alternative ways to encourage the states to adopt stronger impaired driving countermeasures.