We bet you did not know that Utah is lowering the legal limit for blood alcohol content from .08 to .05 just before the New Year’s Eve. So looks like you will have to say “No” to that fourth drink offered by your friend (or bartender) on New Year’s Eve after all, as, on average, it takes about four alcoholic drinks in one hour to reach the .08 BAC level, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Utah is the first state in the nation to enact the law. On December 30, the state will enact the strictest limit for blood alcohol content in the nation. Those who are not aware of the new law will be very surprised when a police officer stops their vehicle on New Year’s Eve and asks them to submit a breath test (also known as the Breathalyzer).
Our Salt Lake City DUI attorney from Jardine Law Offices, P.C., predicts that the number of DUI stops and DUI arrests will increase tenfold on December 30, December 31, and January 1, as police officers all across Utah will be taking advantage of the fact that many Utah residents are not aware of the new Dec. 30 law lowering the legal limit for blood alcohol content from .08 to .05.
Interestingly, 35 years ago, Utah became the first state in the U.S. to lower the legal limit for BAC from .10 to .08, which prompted many other states to follow suit. With Utah setting the nation’s strictest limit for blood alcohol content – again – other states are expected to follow suit as well.
Fact: Since 2016, four other states – New York, Washington, Hawaii, and Delaware – considered reducing the legal limit for BAC to .05, but to no avail.
The issue of lowering the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration continues to divide lawmakers and mere mortars alike. While some argue that lowering the legal limit for BAC can save thousands of lives, others sling mud at the .05 law, arguing that the BAC limit will only criminalize what is now considered a perfectly normal and responsible behavior.
Fact #2: Lowering the legal limit for BAC from .08 to .05 can potentially save nearly 1,800 lives each year, according to a meta-analysis of studies conducted by researchers from University of Chicago.
Each year, about a third of all fatal car accidents in the Unites States involve a driver under the influence of alcohol. “That’s more than 10,000 fatalities each year,” explains our DUI attorney Salt Lake City from Jardine Law Offices, P.C.
Several studies have indicated that those who go above the .05 BAC are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. Only time will show whether or not raising the legal limit from .05 to .08 will make a difference in reducing the number of fatalities caused by drunk drivers or the number of DUI crashes overall.
What’s clear for now is that the number of DUI stops and arrests in Utah will skyrocket since December 30, 2018, up until Utah residents realize that you can be arrested for driving with a BAC as low as .05 as opposed to .08. Have you been involved in a car accident involving a drunk driver? Speak to our Salt Lake City car accident attorney from Jardine Law Offices, P.C., to get a free consultation. Call at 801-451-9555.