In The News

  • Utah getting toughest drunken driving limit in the US

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah’s governor signed legislation Thursday giving the predominantly Mormon state the strictest drunken driving threshold in the country, a change that restaurant groups and representatives of the ski and snowboard industry say will hurt tourism. Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said lowering the blood alcohol limit for most drivers to 0.05 percent from 0.08 percent will save lives.The change means a 150-pound man would be over the 0.05 limit after two beers, while a 120-pound woman could exceed it after a single drink, though that can be affected by a number of factors, including how much food [...]

  • Utah sets lowest DUI limit in country: anomaly or trendsetter?

    Drivers in Utah will be subject to the nation's tightest drinking and driving laws, if a bill passed by the state’s legislature reducing the legal blood-alcohol content for driving from 0.08 to 0.05 goes into effect. Lawmakers voted to pass the measure last week, and it now moves to Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s desk for a signature. If passed, the new regulations would take effect on Dec. 30 of next year. Drivers continue to get behind the wheel while intoxicated despite advocacy campaigns that have raised awareness of the issue and efforts by legislators to bring greater restrictions and punishments for impaired [...]

  • Utah to become first state to lower DUI limit to .05

    Utah’s Legislature sent Gov. Gary Herbert a measure lowering the state’s legal threshold for drunken driving to a .05 percent blood-alcohol content Wednesday – a bill that will make Utah’s DUI threshold the lowest in the nation if Herbert signs it into law as expected. Herbert’s public information officer, Kirsten Rappleye, said in an emailed statement Thursday that the governor “is supportive” of the bill as well as a companion measure legislators approved Wednesday that will ease the “Zion Curtain” barrier requirements for restaurants that serve alcohol. “He doesn’t have an expected signing timeline yet, except that he must sign within 20 [...]

  • Op-ed: Lower blood-alcohol limit doesn’t help, and Herbert should veto it

    Utah legislators on March 8 voted to approve House Bill 155, a bill that would make Utah the first state to reduce the blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit to 0.05 percent from 0.08 percent. If signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, the legislation would become the most restrictive DUI law in the country and will have detrimental effects on Utah's restaurant industry, economy and reputation. The Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association is highly committed to eliminating drunk driving and its harmful effects on society. However, given the implications of HB155, we strongly believe this is an ineffective and ill-conceived approach. We call upon [...]

  • Utah’s drunken driving law is about to become the country’s strictest

    The state of Utah is poised to adopted the toughest drunken driving standards in the nation, lowering the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard for impairment from .08 percent to 0.05 percent. Researchers and public health experts who study alcohol impairment, including the National Transportation Safety Board, have been clamoring for years for all 50 states to adopt a .05 threshold, following the example of nearly every other wealthy country. So far, however, every state other than Utah has kept its limit at .08. The logic behind Utah's change is simple: Your odds of getting into a car crash while driving at .05 are dramatically lower than the odds at .08. Take [...]

  • Utah lawmakers pass toughest DUI limit in US at 0.05 percent

    Utah could soon have the strictest DUI threshold in the nation after state lawmakers on Wednesday night voted to lower the limit for a driver’s blood-alcohol content to 0.05 percent, down from 0.08 percent. The measure heads to Utah’s governor, who has said he supports the legislation. If Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, it would take effect Dec. 30, 2018 — an unusual effective date for Utah laws that would ensure the harsher standard is in place before alcohol-laden celebrations on New Year’s Eve. Supporters of the legislation said it would save lives by keeping people off the road if they’ve [...]

  • Provo lawmaker’s bill to lower legal blood alcohol content level passes out of committee

    Will lowering the legal level of blood alcohol content for Utah drivers save lives, or simply contribute to Utah’s “weirdness” factor? That was the question legislators tried to answer when House Bill 155, sponsored by Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, was in a Senate committee Wednesday morning. Thurston’s bill proposes that the legal blood alcohol content, or BAC, for driving be lowered from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. The bill ended up passing out of committee on a 4-2 vote, and will now head to the Utah Senate for consideration. It has already been approved by the Utah House of Representatives. Thurston told the [...]

  • Plan to Make Utah’s DUI Limit Stricter Passes Latest Hurdle

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers backed legislation on Wednesday that could make the state's DUI threshold the strictest in the nation by lowering the blood-alcohol content limit to 0.05 percent. Members of a Senate transportation committee voted in favor of the plan, saying it would help to save lives by keeping more people off the roads after drinking. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration. The proposal would mean that a 150-pound man could get a DUI after two beers, while a 120-pound woman could get one after a single drink, according to the American Beverage Institute, a [...]

  • Despite ‘weirdness factor,’ bill advances to make Utah first state to lower blood-alcohol limit to 0.05

    Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, says Utah should send a message that drinkers should stop thinking that they can safely drive if they have been imbibing at all, even a drop. That helped him win the next-to-last approval needed Wednesday for a first-in-the-nation bill to lower the legal limit from driving under the influence to a 0.05 blood-alcohol content (BAC) — which an average male could reach at three drinks, and a female at two. The Senate Transportation Committee voted 4-2 to endorse HB155, and sent it to the full Senate. It previously passed the House 48-26. "There is evidence that impairment starts with the [...]

  • Op-ed: Separate drinking from driving by lowering legal limit

    By Bella Dinh-Zarr I work at the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB. You may have seen those four yellow letters on our jackets at the scene of a truck or train crash, or when we search for the "black box" in plane wreckage. Our job is to ask why, find the answers and recommend ways to prevent the next tragedy. Sometimes, that is why I visit a state.  So it was a pleasure to visit Utah recently not to investigate a tragedy, but to help prevent them. I came because your state is considering a measure to save lives by preventing alcohol-impaired [...]