Press Release

American Beverage Institute Urges Governor Herbert to Support 24/7 Sobriety Program, Not .05

Washington D.C.—Today, the American Beverage Institute asked Utah Governor Gary Herbert to support reducing alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Utah by signing a bill that would implement a 24/7 Sobriety Program in the state. Instead of lowering the legal blood-alcohol content limit to .05—which is not proven to save lives—the state should implement programs like 24/7 Sobriety which have demonstrated success in reducing drunk driving fatalities in states across the country.
Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, released the following statement:
We all want to save lives on the roads, but lowering the legal limit will do very little—if anything at all—to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Instead, the move will damage Utah’s hospitality and tourism industries, turning a 120-pound women who has a glass of wine with dinner into a criminal. Rather than punishing moderate social drinkers, Utah should target the hardcore high-BAC and repeat offenders that cause 77 percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Utah.
To this end, Governor Herbert should consider signing into law H.B. 250—which would allow judges to mandate a 24/7 Sobriety Program for drunk driving offenders. This program focuses on changing a drunk driver’s behavior before they even attempt to get behind the wheel. Unlike lowering the legal limit to .05, this program would actually reduce drunk driving fatalities by targeting those most responsible for putting other’s lives at risk by driving drunk. A peer-reviewed study of South Dakota’s similar law showed a 12 percent reduction in DUI recidivism after the law’s implementation. There is no such evidence that moving to a .05 legal limit would have a similar impact in Utah or anywhere in the United States.