Utah is the first U.S. to pass legislation lowering the legal limit for DUI to 0.05 percent.

Salt Lake City, UT– On March 23, 2017, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed legislation that changed the state’s DUI laws, making it the first state in the country to lower the legal limit to 0.05 percent. There is widespread support of the newly signed legislation, but there are some dissenting voices who think the new limit is too low and could lead to

Utah’s HB 155

For years, federal agencies like the National Traffic Safety Board and anti-drunk driving advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been pushing states across the U.S. to make DUI laws tougher and lower legal limits for drunk drivers.

Gov. Herbert the legislation, but stressed that lawmakers needed “more thorough consideration of how this new standard is applied,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The governor also encouraged lawmakers to consider the arguments of the bill’s critics when working on the final legislation.

The Utah legislature will debate the law during a summer session to discuss the details of the law and ensure it is smoothly implemented. There have been numerous proposals introduced that could shape the law from developing lesser penalties for people with a BAC between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent to delaying the law until a neighboring state passes similar legislation, so it doesn’t affect tourism, according to Salt Lake Tribune.

The U.S. is one of the few industrialized nations with a 0.08 percent legal limit. Numerous European countries have a 0.05 percent limit in BAC, but the U.S. is slow to adopt the standard. The law doesn’t take effect until December 30, 2018, but there is already criticism of the law, according to Utah Public Radio. 

The ABA argues the new law will hurt Utah’s tourism revenue.

Dissenting Voices

While safety advocates are happy with the changes, the American Beverage Institute had heavy criticism of the law. Sarah Longwell, the spokeswoman for the ABA, said the legislation would cause economic harm to the state, leading to the closure of small businesses.

In a statement, Longwell said, “A 120-pound woman can now have little more than a single drink before being subject to arrest, $10,000 in fines, attorney fees, increased insurance costs, and the social stigma of being labeled a ‘drunk driver —which will lead many to forgo that glass of wine with dinner.”

How Can a DUI Lawyer in Utah Help with My Defense?

Once the law takes effect, any motorist with a blood alcohol concentration could face DUI charges and possible conviction which can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, a possible jail term and a criminal record.

Have you been charged with DUI but are wondering if should hire an attorney? If so, USAttorneys recommends you speak to an attorney to explain how they can benefit your case. Our team of DUI lawyers in Salt Lake City will conduct a thorough investigation into your case, so they can identify the best defense strategy to pursue in your case. You can count on one of our attorneys to dedicate their time and expertise to your defense, so you aren’t left with a DUI conviction on their criminal record.