Reduce the legal blood-alcohol level to .05 or less

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  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 18, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    What we need to fight BAD guys driving drunk, is even more GOOD guys driving drunk.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    May 17, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    I think it's worth asking what the point of having a blood alcohol limit is. Criminals don't obey the blood alcohol limit anyway, so lowering it won't stop them!


    Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    The fact is that motorists driving with .05 to .08 (or probably a little higher) aren't the drunk drivers killing and injuring other people. I've been hit by a drunk driver as a pedestrian and he was way over the legal limit as are most who cause accidents. I suggest we allow higher blood alcohol levels and impose stiffer penalties for those who are extremely intoxicated even on their first offense. It seems it's always the law abiding citizens who get punished for the actions of a few.
    It also seems to me that the police state in America has expanded quite enough already. You can barely leave the house anymore without committing some sort of offense.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 16, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    Nearly 1000 people are killed every year due to drowsy driving. Perhaps that should be looked at as well.

    But wait,

    As the NRA tells us, laws don't stop all crimes or keep people from being killed.

    I think this is simply another Communist/Socialist plot.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    @Chris B
    "No is suggesting that making it against the law to drink and drive will prevent all DUI's."

    Nobody suggests that gun laws prevent all gun violence, just reduce it. This editorial notes a claim that this policy could save up to around 1,000 lives a year. It's a valid comparison.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    "It is difficult, however, to argue against the NTSB estimate that as many as 1,000 lives could be saved nationwide each year if the limit was uniformly lowered. This 10 percent reduction would be well worth the effort."

    So wait... you mean laws actually deter behavior? That's not what gun rights advocates have been arguing.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 16, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    Many may disagree here. I just want to point out that some people can drive better with a .15 then others at a .05. There are many factors involved, and I don't have the answer to how we should handle this. People usually know their limits by how they feel, not by what their blood alcohol level is. I don't want my family on the roads with drunk drivers, but I also don't want to be pulled over and get a dui for having a beer and then driving home. So this is a hard issue to tackle. The texting and driving epidemic is becoming more dangerous then alcohol, and it is happening very fast. Just my opinion.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    May 16, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    Recently in Omaha a man was sentenced to a few years in jail for his 8th DWI. This will be his 4th time in jail with all sentences being 3-5yrs or more.
    His BAC was .317 and he had only been out of jail for 5 days.
    The reason for drinking was depression due to the fact that his wife and daughter left him and didn't want him back in their lives.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 16, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    "I've yet to hear the focus be on the definition of what is an assault weapon."

    I disagree.

    The most current gun debate issue was background checks. Redefining background checks to include gun shows and private sales, is very similar.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Thank you NTSB and DN! Our casual attitude to the carnage caused by DWI is strange. Driving impaired (with alcohol) is not a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom. The 0.05% blood alcohol limit is long over due and a move in the right direction, although drivers are still impaired at that level. Any implication that one is not impaired at 0.049% and is impaired at 0.05% is a fallacy. Those who object are the ones who will be negatively affected: bar owners, liquor industry and impaired drivers. The rest of us will live in a safer society.

  • Cris B. Sandy, UT
    May 16, 2013 9:54 a.m.


    The only thing being proposed here is changing the definition of what is a DUI.

    If you're trying to compare it to the gun debate, a similar measure would be if we were debating what constitutes an assault weapon.

    But in the gun debate that is not the focus or the debate. I've yet to hear the focus be on the definition of what is an assault weapon. You yourself said the issue is background checks.

    That is why the analogy doesn't hold up.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 16, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    "No is suggesting that making it against the law to drink and drive will prevent all DUI's."

    By the same token ChrisB, No one is suggesting that expanding background checks will stop all mass shootings.

    However, that has been the counter argument of many gun advocates and the NRA.

    Wasn't that Mavericks point and the reason for his analogy?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 16, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Oatmeal has it right. While I wouldn't necessarily oppose a 0.05 limit (and I drink) the issue in Utah isn't safe drivers it's moral tyranny. Cell phones and distracted driving are far more dangerous in Utah simply because of their prevalence. Lots of statistics showing how texting and driving can be upwards of 10 times more dangerous than 0.08% driving.

    It would interesting to know how many people are killed in Utah by drunk drivers compared to distracted drivers (any kind of distraction).

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 16, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    I'll go for that if someone comes up with a formula that equates the 'impairment' I experience at .05 and equates it with the similar impairment one acquires with age, and makes it illegal for anyone older than that determined age to drive, either. Besides, the DN answers to a master that's never going to accept alcohol in any form. This in spite of its' regular rants against big government, nanny stateism, government intervention, and personal and religious freedom.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Real Maverick,

    Poor analogy. No is suggesting that making it against the law to drink and drive will prevent all DUI's.

    The law under consideration is changing the definition of a DUI.

    Yes, people will still drink and drive.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 16, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    I thought regulation was worthless because bad people will still find ways to buy guns? So won't bad people still find ways to get drunk and drive?

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 16, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    I'd suppport .05 IF Utah also banned talking on a cell phone while driving. I've narrowly missed two ladies in minivans in the last week because they were driving while distracted.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 16, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    We just need to outlaw alcohol. And R-rated movies.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    I agree with most of the posters on this blog. Does lowering the limit make us safer? Do we have the resources in law enforcement and courts needed to enforce this? No doubt the moral majority that runs this State will quickly want to adopt the new, lower guidelines.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 16, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    Sure --
    Right AFTER we start passing laws prohibiting TEXTING while driving.
    Texting while driving is even MORE dangerous and more prevalent.

    Some people [usually good Latter-Day Saints] will see this more narrowly as a Word of Wisdom law, and not necessarily as assuring good driving habits and one of safety.

  • collegestudent25 Cedar City, UT
    May 16, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    This sounds like a great idea to me. I just watched a show where those who were at a .06 BAC were severely impaired while driving.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    May 16, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    So more restrictions on guns in the name of safety = big, bad government but more restrictions on alcohol in the name of "Safety" = good?

  • UtahVET1 Sandy, Utah
    May 16, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    One idea I like that I seen in Ohio was that people convicted of DUI had to have a special license plate on there car that identified them as a DUI offender. They could only drive to places approved by a judge like to work. If people are serious about saving lives and not a political mess like gun control then they would do something about the number one case of deaths in this country. More people are killed by drunk drivers than people with guns.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 16, 2013 6:40 a.m.

    While lower rates would be commendable, how many accidents per year are caused by drinking drivers whose limit is between 0.05% and 0.08%? How much of a problem is that range in Utah? If we're going to lower the limit to 0.05%, why not lower it all the way to 0.02% so than ANY drinking and driving would be an automatic DUI?

    At 0.079%, the law says that you're sober enough to drive. At 0.08%, the law says you'll be arrested for DUI. Do those numbers accurately represent impairment? Who told us that someone driving at 0.079% was safe? How did they arrive at that figure?

    Now they're saying that 0.05% is no longer safe.

    I believe that any drinking and driving is unsafe, but I also believe that we do not live in a police state whose job it is to force its will on the people. That line between freedom and force is already very thin.

    Some would tell us that all of society's problems would disappear if we were just forced to always do the right thing. That plan has already been rejected.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 16, 2013 5:32 a.m.

    The other editorial today says we should value liberty over security. I guess it just depends on which liberty.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 12:42 a.m.

    As I recall you opposed the repeal of prohibition also. If that's what you want you should have the guts to say so. If we go to .05, we may as well go dry.