Proposal to lower blood alcohol level could improve driving safety, researcher says

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  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    The current laws on the books are not being enforced anyway. It is already against the law to drive while impaired no matter what your blood alcohol content is. This is just another way for the state to be able to add on an additional charge and get more people in the system. I don't drink anymore, but I'm sure I was driving better when I was drunk than the way most people drive today. there is no courtesy left in driving and safety is not a priority. This is not a Mormon versus a non-Mormon issue, I would bet the same percentage of alcoholics and problem drinkers that are in society in general is pretty close to the percentage that are Mormons. Until law enforcement starts taking an extreme effort to write citations based on existing traffic laws as often as possible, the roads will not get any safer. And by the way Hutterite, please try to stay on topic,

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    When I was many years younger, I had a very close friend that enjoyed recreational drinking. we were both single at the time and of legal age. if we wanted to go see a flick, he had a nicer car and we would usually take his. He liked to stop at a little hole in the wall bar for a beer. As soon as the beer was set down in front of him, his keys were placed in my hand (I don't drink). I never saw him drunk, but I also never saw him drive with even one beer in him. to me, that was a responsible way to drink, if you insist on drinking. I also have a son, who one time told me that he would go with his friends when they would drink as the designated driver. He enjoyed the way they made themselves look rediculous, and then he made sure they got home safely. that also works.

  • Luke Nelson West Valley City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    "Yes this is a Mormon vs. non-Mormon issue. A commenter here suggested 0% limit. Will it then be violation to drive home from church after taking part in the sacrament?"

    That would not be an issue for Mormons. Our sacrament has water, not wine. Although you bring up a good reason not to have a zero percent limit since some religions do.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    Cash Cow is all this is, how about we talk about impairment by cell phone, or aged driver, .08 is already arguable in court, Talk to a Cop.
    Ask your self why hit and runs have increased?
    Because it less of a fine and punishment for a hit and run than a DUI.

    I drink, Never got a DUI, Millions of folks drink daily.
    Get over your self righteous attitude about drinking, I'm dodging folks on their phones all day who are severely impaired in the ability to drive, and like someone else mentioned they don't enforce the speed limit, I thought speed kills.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    It is nice to finally have one issue I do not completely disagree with the Sutherland Inst. on, I do however agree with many of these post that there should be more focus on education and social pressure and rather then simply relying on stricter and more harsh punishment after the fact.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Oct. 14, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    "Utah's limit is 0.08 percent." - This is the National limit for every state. Congress has stalled the talks to reduce the limit to .05%. This it behooves each state to take control of this, and reduce the limit to their liking.
    As Strider mentioned, it's not just alcohol that impairs driving. It is drug use - both illicit and monitored medications from Rx to OTC. It can also occur from being too tired. It is the responsibility of each driver to stop driving when they are the slightest bit impaired.
    One thing I do know - Utah's speed limit is NOT being enforced. I've driven I-15 so many times where people have approached up to 90-100 MPH, and they are not even cited. THAT makes for poor safety issues.

  • Betcha Waltham, MA
    Oct. 14, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    I agree with this article, to a point,,, You can lower the limit, but you cannot guarantee that every one will react the same way to the same amount of achohol that is in your system... My solution to this problem, is... when ever any one is pulled over for distracted driving, weather it is because they are drunk, or texting, or talking on the phone, any thing that is causing them to be a problem on the roads, give them a ticket. and when they go to pay the fine, have the fine be $1,000-$5,000. Everyone is different, there are some people that are not effected by 0.08 level and others that are out of control...I can promise you this will stop more people, or at least make them think twice before doing it again...

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    Yes this is a Mormon vs. non-Mormon issue. A commenter here suggested 0% limit. Will it then be violation to drive home from church after taking part in the sacrament?

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    Common sense goes a long way. I agree the best blood-alcohol content ideally should be 0.0, but I think if people just used common sense it wouldn't be such a problem. We should know that drugs and alcohol don't mix well with operating vehicles (we have pharmacists telling us that all the time with the prescribed medication we take). I think it would be nice if the people who consumed these things were more up front and honest and said, "I can't drive." If we as people / members of society would take more personal responsibility for our actions, there would be less problems and less involvement from the government on implementing public policy to govern us. If we would think more on how our behaviors and choices affected others, I think we would have fewer problems too.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    It'd be great if these people could concentrate this same energy and reasoning, and it does apply here, to gun control.

  • SLC BYU Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    Contrary to the beleif of some readers this isn't a Mormon vs. Non-Mormon issue. It is being discussed in all 50 states and the Canadian provinces given it is the law in most nations making up the European Union. I also think Imapired Driving Charges should include lower THC levels given the increasing prevelence of Marijuana use.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Oct. 14, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    Maybe it would do more good to educate people on their personal impairment limits.
    If we're totally honest about this we would discover that for every time that a person is apprehended for DUI there is most likely 6 to 10 times that they were not caught.
    And there is also a percentage of accidents that are not caused by the driver who was DUI.
    Does anyone have data showing what percentage of the reduction in fatalities after the BAC was lowered to 0.08 is due to better safety in vehicles e.g. seat belt use, airbags, crumple zones, etc. Remember each year we reduce the number of older vehicles and replace them with more that were built to stricter safety standards.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    In reality, there is no alcohol blood level except 0.0 that does not result in some impairment. Our legislators are trying to settle how much driving while impaired is acceptable to the public. The legislative battle will be difficult, but one with a benefit in public health. The liquor industry and hospitality interests will put profits before the public good.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    I would support a reduction in blood alcohol level criteria. I would suggest any change include limits or standards on THC and other halucinegens as our neighbor Colorado has legalized use of Marijuana and some impaired drivers may wind up over the border in Utah.

    It would be nice to have a measurable standard via blood serum levels to know whether to cite for impaired driving along with possession.