Strictest DUI Law In Nation Begins At Midnight Sunday

Dec 28, 2018, 12:37 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah is about to become the first and only state to act on the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations to lower the blood alcohol concentration level to 0.05.

At a press conference Friday, Utah Highway Patrol Troopers said fines and training will remain the same under the new law.

“We are not expecting any monetary gain from this,” Sgt. Nick Street, UHP Public Information Officer, said.  “We are hoping people will make better decisions on the front end of a night where they plan to consume alcohol.”

The group Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates the average impaired driver has driven while drunk 80 times before their first arrest.

The Utah Legislature passed HB155 in hopes of lowering that statistic.

HB155 lowers the previous 0.08 BAC limit to 0.05.

The historic change takes place at the stroke of midnight on Sunday – just in time for the New Year celebrations, which often generate alcohol consumption.

“As soon as the clock ticks over to Sunday, the new level will be 0.05,” Street said.

During the last 10 years, Utah saw 30 DUI fatalities where a driver was in between 0.05 and 0.07.

“That is way too many deaths,” Street said.  “Studies have shown that impairment sometimes begins with that first drink.”

Troopers said they don’t expect to see an increase in arrests, however, they hope the new law will deter people from getting behind the wheel while impaired.

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Strictest DUI Law In Nation Begins At Midnight Sunday