New Utah Drunk Driving Law Will Lower Legal Blood Alcohol Limit

Utah has a newly enacted drunk driving law that lowered the blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05, making it the lowest limit in the country. The law is set to go into effect in 2018.

Alcohol level is measured by the weight of alcohol in a certain volume of blood, resulting in a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. At a BAC of .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood the risk of a crash dramatically increases. As a result of this risk, it is fairly uniform across the country that it is illegal to drive with a 0.08 BAC or higher.

The National Highway Transportation Association states that an average 160 pound man would be considered legally impaired after consuming two drinks in one hour.

A standard drink of alcohol is typically defined as ½ ounce of pure alcohol, or roughly 12 ounces of beer, between 4-6 ounces of wine, or a 1 ounce shot of 100 proof liquor.

Businesses in Utah have voiced opposition to the law, fearing that tourists and visitors will be deterred from going to the state, businesses are concerned about their bottom line.

The opposing view is that lives may be saved. The National Transportation Board has recommended a .05 blood alcohol level since 2013.

Opponents want to either repeal the law before it goes into effect, or change it to lessen the penalty. The law doesn’t go into effect until 2018, lawmakers say it’s already having an impact in lowering DUI arrests, they hope other states will follow their lead.

If a drunk driver causes a crash and injures another person, or if a bar may have overserved the driver, the driver, or the bar, may be held liable for injuries and damages suffered. A Phoenix personal injury lawyer may be able to assist in pursuing the claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company.