Some states, like California, are trying preventative measures to control DUI such as installing ignition interlock devices on DUI offender’s vehicles. But the nearby state of Utah is taking a different approach. The legislature passed a bill lowering the BAC level necessary for a DUI from 0.08 to 0.05. The LA Times has reported that he will sign the bill into law. This would make Utah have the lowest threshold for DUI in the nation for the common driver.
Some groups in Utah, notably the hospitality industry, have said that the bill will hurt tourism and is a push to legislate Mormon values, but the proponents say that the lowering of the BAC level is a public safety issue. Utah has one of the lowest DUI rates in the country despite a growing population and laws which state that a DUI can still be charged on the testimony of an officer or witnesses even if a driver isn’t tested.
Surprisingly, the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving has taken a neutral stance on the issue, saying they are against the lowering of legal DUI limits and instead focused on countermeasures like IIDs and sobriety checkpoints, which it believes work better to keep drunk drivers off the road than using the fear of a lower limit.
The new threshold will take effect just before New Year’s Eve in December 2018. Hopefully, this lowering won’t convince other nearby states like California to lower their legal limits.
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