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Utah DUI Limit: Measure Will Lower Legal Level to Just .05

Image: Utah DUI Limit: Measure Will Lower Legal Level to Just .05
(Photo by Yui Mok/Press Association via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 10:37 AM

Utah is poised to have the toughest DUI limit in the country with a measure that drops the legal blood-alcohol content limit to 0.05 percent.

The Utah senate last week approved the bill, dropping the state's definition of driving under the influence from 0.08 percent, which is standard in most states, to 0.05. The Senate voted 17-12 in favor, following the House's vote of 48-26 in favor, reported the Salt Lake Tribune.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended in a 2013 report that states should drop the blood-alcohol levels that qualifies as drunk driving to 0.05 percent to reduce the possibility of fatal crashes, reported USA Today.

"This is critical because impaired driving remains one of the biggest killers in the United States," NTSB chair Deborah Hersman said then. "To make a bold difference will require bold action. But it can be done."

Republican Utah State Sen. Stuart Adams, who sponsored the bill, told the Tribune the bill was created to get people to think before they get behind the wheel after drinking. The newspaper noted that the average man would reach the new state legal limit with three drinks and the average woman with two.

"This is not a drinking bill," Adams told the Tribune. "It's a driving bill. It's a public safety bill."

If Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, it would go into effect Dec. 30, 2018, reported the Deseret News. Herbert said last week that he was supportive of it.

The Deseret News said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement last week in support for the bill.

"The passage of this bill further demonstrates Utah's commitment to good public policy and to protecting people from the tragedies that come from drinking and driving," Eric Hawkins, the church's spokesman told the Deseret News.

Democratic State Sen. Jim Dabakis argued that the bill could hurt tourism.

"Colorado and a lot of other states are ready to go after us, and they look at every opportunity," Dabakis said.

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Utah is poised to have the toughest DUI limit in the country with a measure that drops the legal blood-alcohol content limit to 0.05 percent.
utah, dui, limit, measure
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2017-37-13
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 10:37 AM
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