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Utah Set To Lead The Charge Against Alcohol-Impaired Drivers In The New Year

Just in time for the upcoming New Year’s celebrations comes news that Utah residents will not like.  It would seem that the state has passed a new law that will impose the strictest alcohol consumption limit in the entire country.

On March 20th, Governor Gary Herbert signed, passed and enacted a law that determines the alcohol level of being considered as driving under the influence as a blood or breath concentration of .05 grams, or greater.  This is much lower than the current national average of .08 grams or greater.

Image: Lifesafer

Also tacked onto the new law is that if a person is deemed to have been driving with a level of .05 or greater, and was deemed to have been driving recklessly and have such caused the death of another individual, that person will be charged with having committed an automobile homicide, which is a felony.

The NTSB has rallied for years that all the states make this change, and lower their levels.  The sited data shows over 100 countries have already put this lower level in place, but Utah is the first in the United States to take this momentous step.

According to a police agency in Australia, an average sized man can reach a .05 blood level concentration by having two standard drinks within one hour, and then over one drink each hour after.  Austrailia is one of the countries that currently have a .05 legal level.

Statistics show that in 2017, out of more than 37,000 auto-related fatalities 29 percent or more were caused due to alcohol-related impairments.  As it turns out, this is lower than previous percentages dating back to 1982.

Image: ABC News

Also of note is that according to the NTSB, Utah had the lowest rate of automobile deaths due to alcohol-impaired drivers at 19 percent.  In 2004, then-President Bill Clinton signed into law that all fifty US states had to impose and enforce an alcohol standard of at least .08 by no later than 2004.

The newest law is set to take effect on December 30th, 2018.