In The News

  • Utah’s .05 DUI law is likely here to stay, but groups hope to tweak it

    SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's controversial .05 DUI law is likely here to stay. In the face of opposition and ad campaigns targeting the state for the toughest anti-drunk driving law in the nation, the law's sponsor expressed confidence the Utah State Legislature would not repeal what it passed earlier this year. "There are people that want to revisit the issue that has already passed. Well, the legislature’s already spoken. The governor has already signed it," Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, told FOX 13 on Monday. "It’s time to focus on other issues that we haven’t talked about." That doesn't mean there won't be [...]

  • Online petition opposing Utah’s new DUI law hits 10K signatures

    SALT LAKE CITY — More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition opposing Utah's new law dropping the legal blood alcohol content for driving from .08 percent to .05 percent. The American Beverage Institute, based in Washington, D.C., launched the petition a month ago as part of its ongoing campaign urging the state to repeal the law. The organization has taken out full-page newspaper ads in neighboring states designed to make potential tourists think twice about visiting Utah. With the exception of a small fraction of ZIP codes from elsewhere, all of the signatures are from Utahns, according to the beverage [...]

  • 10,000 signatures have been collected in the fight against Utah’s tough new DUI law

    A national lobbying group says it has gathered 10,000 signatures in its fight to repeal Utah's strict, new drunken-driving law. Utah is the first state in the country to lower the state's blood-alcohol content limit for DUI from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. In May, the American Beverage Institute (ABI), a lobbying organization that fights for responsible on-premise consumption of adult beverages, launched a petition drive opposing the measure. "In under a month, we've reached over 10,000 signatures and that number will only continue to climb as more constituent voices are heard," Sarah Longwell, ABI's managing director, said in a news release issued [...]

  • Utah bars fighting the state’s strict new DUI law with fundraising and petition drive

    Bar owners in Utah are fighting the state's strict new drunken-driving law, launching an online fundraising push and encouraging residents to sign a national petition. The Utah Hospitality Association recently launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of collecting $25,000. As of Monday, people had pledged $3,200. All contributions will go toward lobbying and campaign donations that could help repeal the toughest drunken-driving law in the country, said Executive Director Alex Dolphin. Dozens of bars around the state have been sharing the campaign link on social media encouraging patrons to support the effort. "People [who] want to see a change in the liquor law, this [...]

  • State’s new drunk-driving law has many drivers outraged. Did lawmakers go too far?

    Lawmakers in Utah have approved legislation lowering the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05, the lowest limit in the nation, sparking outrage from many drivers in Utah and across the country concerned the new limit could lead to unnecessary arrests and severe punishments for safe drivers. The new limit will go into effect at the end of 2018.According to a report by CBS News, the change was inspired by a 2013 recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal government agency. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims the average 160-pound man would be in violation of [...]

  • Utah faces backlash over unprecedented drunk driving law

    Utah faces growing opposition over a newly-passed drunk driving law that lowers the legal blood alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05. That makes it the lowest threshold in the nation, and the law is set to go into effect late next year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says an average 160-pound man would be considered legally drunk under the new law after drinking just two drinks in one hour. Businesses are already fighting back with a new ad campaign that's aggressive, warning tourists traveling to Utah: "Come for vacation, leave on probation" – a jab at the state's new drunk driving [...]

  • Liquor lobbying group declares war on Utah with ad campaign in neighboring states over strict drunk driving law

    As the summer tourism season kicked off this Memorial Day weekend, Utah found itself under attack — with no immediate reprieve in sight. The American Beverage Institute launched a full-page ad in Nevada’s largest newspaper last week depicting a woman’s mug shot with the words, “Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation,” printed in bold lettering above her. It follows a similar ad run in neighboring Idaho a few weeks ago and one within Utah this spring. Managing Director Sarah Longwell said the group isn’t done either. More ads are coming — targeting tourists in neighboring states and hoping to make potential [...]

  • National group buys Nevada ads to target Utah DUI law

    A national restaurant trade group is pushing Nevadans not to vacation in Utah after the state recently lowered its DUI threshold. The American Beverage Institute, a Washington, D.C.,-based lobbyist group, is trying to pressure Utah lawmakers to repeal a law that lowered the state’s DUI blood alcohol content threshold from .08 to .05, which puts it at the lowest in the nation. The group has bought one ad in Nevada, taking a full-page in Wednesday’s Review-Journal, headlined: “UTAH: COME FOR VACATION, LEAVE ON PROBATION,” above a faux-mug shot of a woman holding a sign that states her crime as “Had one drink with dinner.” The ad warns [...]

  • Ad targeting Utah’s .05 percent DUI law to run in Las Vegas newspaper

    SALT LAKE CITY — A national organization's ongoing fight against Utah's lowest-in-the-nation legal blood alcohol content for driving will hit a Nevada newspaper Wednesday. The American Beverage Institute plans to take out a full-page ad in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that reads, "Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation." The group, based in Washington, D.C., has run that ad or similar ones in newspapers in Utah, Colorado and Idaho. "This law fails to target the dangerous drunk drivers who cause the vast majority of alcohol-related fatalities and instead targets moderate, responsible drinkers," said Sarah Longwell, the beverage institute's executive director. The organization has [...]

  • Anti-DUI law ad in Nevada warns, ‘Go to Utah on vacation, leave on probation’

    A national restaurant association is continuing an ad campaign warning potential tourists — in Nevada this time — that because of Utah's new toughest-in-the-nation drunken driving law, people going there on vacation, may leave on probation. The American Beverage Institute (ABI) bought a full-page with that warning, which will appear Wednesday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It bought a similar ad previously in Idaho, and plans them in other states that provides tourists to Utah. The newly passed HB155 would make Utah the first state to lower to blood-alcohol content (BAC) to be considered legally drunk while driving from 0.08 to 0.05. [...]