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Utah lawmakers just approved the toughest DUI law in the nation

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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...
Sarah Longwell

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.

FILE - In this Thursday, March 5, 2015, file photo, Budweiser beer cans are on ice at a concession stand at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, it was announced that Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev will pay $6 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that the company made improper payments to government officials in India to promote its products and then tried to hush an employee who reported the violations. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, March 5, 2015, file photo, Budweiser beer cans are on ice at a concession stand at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, it was announced that Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev will pay $6 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that the company made improper payments to government officials in India to promote its products and then tried to hush an employee who reported the violations. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

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. 

Should more states lower their blood-alcohol limit?

Utah lawmakers just approved the toughest DUI law in the nation

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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