Utah could have the toughest DUI laws in the country.
Lawmakers voted to reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers to 0.05 percent from 0.08. Gov. Gary Herbert has said he supports the bill.
It would take effect Dec. 30, 2018, just in time to catch drunk drivers on New Year's Eve.
But opponents of this bill argue it's too strict and won't actually make people safer. The American Beverage Institute, which opposes the bill, argues a 150-pound man could get busted for DUI after just two beers, and a 120-pound woman would be over the limit after just one.
However, DrivingLaws.org calculations show a 120-pound woman would only have a BAC of .02 after one beer. ABI managing director Sarah Longwell said more than 77 percent of alcohol-related traffic deaths in Utah come from someone driving with a BAC above 0.15, so the new limit wouldn't help.
Utah legislators missed an opportunity today to target the hard-core drunk drivers who cause the vast majority of drunk driving fatalities...
A similar bill is being considered in Washington state. Hawaii's attempt to reduce the legal limit died in its state legislature. All other states use a 0.08 limit, with a harsher 0.04 limit for commercial drivers like truckers and taxi drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says some data supports a lower limit. At a BAC of 0.05, drivers can have trouble steering and tracking moving objects. The NHTSA has long pushed for lower standards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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