One State Is About to Get Nation's Toughest DUI Limit

Utah is set to lower BAC limit to .05% from national standard of .08%
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2018 8:23 AM CST
One State Is About to Get Nation's Toughest DUI Limit
In this 2016 file photo, Pam Crouch blows into a breath testing device after consuming a number of drinks to help train officers detect impaired drivers in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She was several points above the legal .08 blood-alcohol content limit.   (Hans Madsen/The Messenger via AP)

In good news for ride-sharing services, cabs, and maybe your better judgment, Utah will be ringing in the New Year with the nation's stingiest limit for blood-alcohol content. The law, which goes into effect on Dec. 30 to thwart all those who thought they might get in one last boozier Auld Lange Syne, lowers the national standard of .08% to .05%. Though increased public awareness of drunk driving has been around for decades, alcohol is still involved in around a third of traffic fatalities, reports the Washington Post, at around 29% of all traffic deaths nationwide.

Utah is already the nation's stingiest in those numbers, clocking in at 19%. But the state doesn't appear at all smug, with the Department of Public Safety saying that "Despite decades of public campaigns and other efforts to discourage driving after drinking, survey and observational data show that many people continue to do so." The .08% standard has been around since former President Clinton signed it into law in 2000. (More blood alcohol level stories.)

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