In The News

  • Ad targets senior Utah lawmakers in response to .05 DUI law

    SALT LAKE CITY — The American Beverage Institute is continuing its campaign against Utah over the .05 DUI law, this time targeting senior statesmen in the legislature. The ad, slated to run in Thursday’s Salt Lake Tribune and shared with FOX 13 in advance, highlights Governor Gary Herbert and a number of lawmakers who are over 65 years old, claiming they are more impaired than someone with a .05 blood alcohol content. “Where this ad is specifically concerned, someone who is driving over the age of 65 is scientifically more impaired than a driver at .05,” ABI’s Sarah Longwell said in a statement. “With [...]

  • American Beverage Institute compares Utah’s .05 DUI law to ‘Driving While Older’

    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — (KUTV) In a full-page advertisement set to debut tomorrow, the American Beverage Institute compares Utah's new .05 arrest law to driving while old. The restaurant trade association cites research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that claims drivers older than 65 are "more impaired than a driver with a BAC of .05." The advertisement features photos of 11 Utah lawmakers over the age of 65 and asks, "If Utah legislators believed drivers at .05 should go to jails, should those over 65 be arrested for DWO (Driving While Older)?" The lawmakers include: Governor Gary Herbert Rep. R. Curt Webb Rep. [...]

  • Shaken & Stirred

    Last month, an online petition asking the Utah Legislature to reconsider its passage of a new alcohol law that would limit the legal blood-alcohol limit to .05, reached its 15,000 signature. Utah was also a bellwether state in the 1980s to first lower the blood-alcohol content limit for all drivers to a .08. The American Beverage Institute, a lobby group that has run ads against the bill, is behind the petition which originally had a goal of rounding up 10,000 supporters. Sarah Longwell, ABI’s managing director, testified at an interim committee meeting on June 21, along with representatives from the restaurant and tourism industries. [...]

  • Hospitality industry says Utah .05 percent DUI law targets wrong people, hurts tourism

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's lowest-in-the-nation DUI law targets the wrong people and hurts tourism, restaurant and hospitality associations told state lawmakers Wednesday. Mary Crafts-Homer, Visit Salt Lake chairwoman and owner of the state's largest catering company, said the law has already impacted the state's booming destination wedding business. All of the brides who had weddings booked called to know how it would affect them, she said. "I don’t know how many people haven't called me because they decided because of this law they're going to go to Colorado," she told the Transportation Interim Committee. Crafts-Homer told legislators the law isn't going after [...]

  • Groups critical of Utah’s strict new drunk driving threshold

    Utah lawmakers who passed the strictest drunk driving threshold in the country got an earful Wednesday from restaurant and tourism groups who warned the 0.05 percent blood alcohol limit could hurt the state's hospitality industry. Tourism officials warned a panel of state lawmakers that Utah's reputation as a Mormon-dominated state that's unfriendly to those who drink alcohol could take another hit with the stricter limit. Officials from the restaurant and bar industry claimed that when the DUI threshold drops from 0.08 percent next year, it will target responsible people having a drink or two at dinner. "People are not drunk at 0.05. They [...]

  • Utah Legislature may make adjustments to controversial new DUI law

    The Utah Legislature isn't going to repeal its new toughest-in-the-nation DUI law. But it's open to tweaking it. In March, Utah became the first state in the country to lower its blood alcohol content limit for a DUI from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. On Wednesday, the Legislature's Transportation Interim Committee gave representatives from restaurants, bars, tourism and the insurance industries a chance to point out "unintended consequences" of the measure so changes could be made before the law goes into effect Dec. 30, 2018. Several committee members made it clear that they were only interested in making minor changes to the law if necessary [...]

  • 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 [...]