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Major change is coming to Utah's DUI laws

The Governor of Utah is set to sign a bill that recently made its way through the state's legislature. The proposed law lowers the state's legal blood alcohol concentration limit to .05 from its current level of .08. If signed by Gov. Herbert, the new DUI law would go into effect on Dec. 30, 2018. 

If signed, the law will have a significant impact on drivers. A man weighing approximately 150 pounds would reach a BAC of .05 after two regular-sized beers. A woman weighing approximately 120 pounds would be considered legally drunk after just one drink. The timing of the law's implementation is deliberate. It would take effect right before New Year's Eve celebrations.

The law might have passed Utah's House, but it does have opposition from both sides. Some believe that it will hurt the state's tourism, especially since the state is already believed to be unfriendly to drinkers. The managing director of the American Beverage Institute says that the law will not save lives since approximately 77 percent of traffic fatalities in Utah involve drivers whose BAC is .15 or above. However, the evidence suggests that an individual's ability to drive safely is adversely affected even at a BAC of .05.

The number of people who could potentially face arrest for DUI under the new law could increase dramatically. Criminal defense attorneys around the state will more than likely be watching to see what Gov. Herbert does. In the meantime, those arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol would benefit from speaking with an attorney to explore the options for achieving the best possible resolution of the charges.

Source:, "Utah lawmakers pass bill to lower DUI limit to 0.05 percent", March 9, 2017

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