As soon as 2019 started, a brand new limit was set up for driving under the influence in the state of Utah. The new limit is 0.05% and it went into effect even if there are protests that the responsible drinkers are going to be affected. There were even mentions that state tourism is going to be negatively affected, given the current reputation that the state of Utah is not friendly to alcohol drinkers due to Mormon population prevalence. The old limit in Utah was 0.08%, which is the current threshold for most US states.
According to specialists at noll-law.com/il/dui-attorney-springfield/, this is a change that Utah lawmakers see as a clear safety measure that will encourage people to stop drinking when driving.
This law change practically means that based on different factors, a man weighing 150 pounds can end up being over this limit after drinking 2 beers in under one hour. A woman of 120 pounds can easily exceed the new limit after just one drink. These statistics were made public by the NHTSA, which does back this change.
Utah was among the first states that adopted the 0.08% threshold. In this regard, Utah was a trend setter in the US. Other states might end up following suit, with New York, Delaware, Hawaii and Washington actually trying to add the exact same 0.05% limit.
As expected, there are two sides that are arguing about this new DUI limit. Some say that it is completely unfair that people are going to end up surpassing the limit after just one drink. Others say that law fears are completely overblown.
It should be said that there are close to 100 countries around the world that have a similar alcohol limit when driving. Statistics show that this did not lead to lower drinking statistics. According to research that was federally funded, this new standard can end up saving close to 1,500 lives in US, if it would be adopted in all states.
There is an increased use of ride-failing apps, like Uber. There are more and more people that simply go out during the night and do not drive their cars. DUI arrests actually dropped by over 50% in the past 7 years, even if the population boomed.
Although this law does not actually present a problem from a practical point of view, there are some visitors that can be scared off. People that believe the liquor laws are too rigid can end up not wanting to visit. However, it is practically impossible to figure out the size of this impact. According to Daniels College of Business’ David Corsun, when people want to visit Utah in order to ski, they are going to do it, without caring about DUI laws.
The police declared that their aim is to stop the dangerous drivers, as opposed to targeting those that might have had something to drink and end up going over the new DUI threshold. Utah Highway Patrol’s Sgt. Nick Street, said that people cannot be stopped simply because they left a bar. Only time will actually tell if this is the case.