Haslam's road plan could result in loss of DUI funds

Gov. Bill Haslam gives his annual State of the State address to a joint convention of the Tennessee General, Assembly Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
photo Jerry Estes

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam says he's open to trying to address concerns raised by Tennessee's district attorneys general that a funding provision in the governor's IMPROVE Act for roads will cost them $6.5 million in federal dollars now used for special DUI prosecutors and training and police overtime.

Haslam acknowledged the concern last week. The money is part of an estimated $18 million Tennessee can't now use for highways and bridges because the state lacks an "Open Container Law" barring open alcoholic beverages in vehicles.

"We're aware of that," the governor said last week. "We fund some DUI [enforcement], DAs through that. We're willing to look at other ways to make sure that function gets paid for.