The legislators in favor of the 0.05 BAL like to bring up the fact that the NTSB
is in support of this nationwide. The NTSB also supports a nationwide ban on ALL
cell phone use by drivers, including hands free phones. Scientific data shows
that talking on a hands free phone impairs a driver to the same degree as being
intoxicated to the current 0.08 BAL.There are many more cell phone
impaired drivers on the road than alcohol impaired drivers.The same
European countries that have a 0.05 BAL law also have much stricter laws on cell
phone use and enforce them. The penalties for both should be equal.Why does the legislator ignore the NTSB on cell phones but embrace their
recommendation on alcohol. Is something other than science and safety behind
Dr H--"...this would save at most 'only' eight lives
per year..."If one of those eight lives saved was yours, or your
wife's, or your child's, I'd bet it would be worth it to you.
Just one life saved would be worth the passage of this bill.
This will cause drunk driving fatalities to increase. While the cops are wasting
their time processing unimpaired drivers the real impaired drivers will be out
driving. This is just another symbolism over substance law for which Utah is
This is a bill that fixes a problem that doesn't exist. We already have
laws that criminalize impaired driving, even under .08 with DUI like penalties.
At .05 there is no evidence of impairment barring other factors so how are they
going to enforce the law other than random traffic offenses. Imagine getting
pulled over for doing 30 in a 25 and losing your license and even your job. This
bill will hurt more people than it will save.
"If you are not comfortable with your pilot being just a little impaired, I
don't want to share the road with you in the same condition."Ok no name...I don't want to share the road with you until you get your
cell phone out of the car, get all of your little kids, out of the car, get
your chatty neighbor sitting next to you, out of the car, get your radio, out of
the car, because I'm not uncomfortable with you being a little impaired.
See the point? being a little impaired is a catch phrase that
describes a variety of conditions and circumstances. Probably not a
lot of accidents caused by radios or kids, but they are distractions. The same
is true for alcohol. Alcohol related fatalities pretty much don't occur
until a person is wasted, BAC of 1.5 or higher. The obsession with
.05 is purely cultural here. Alcohol is bad so.....well screaming kids in a car
is bad too. Is there an appropriate noise and distraction level we should
Why do people want to stop on the way home from work or skiing or whatever and
get a drink? Because they want to relax, they want to get a little buzz, take
the edge of the stress (note all this amounts to some degree of impairment for
driving). How much is too much? Any impairment, drinking, texting etc. is too
much.If you drink don't drive, Period. Drinking and driving
puts others at risk. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends Point
Zero Five, not for fun but because they have data that says .O5 is more safe.
At what point is the government going to quit making laws that takes away our
right to choose. Seat belts, text and driving, and any other laws that take
away our personal right to choose what we will and won't do. At what
point do I as the government stop doing this.
If signed it will be removed in 3 years maximum, meanwhile people across the
nation will make fun of us (again).The only thing it will do is make
criminals out of little women. (light weight women will exceed the .05 limit
with just one beer. )I don't know many women who are impaired
by one beer, and that's where the line should be drawn, to prevent
The law is simple. It isn't about how impaired someone is at 0.05%. It is
about making clear that drinkers meed to be responsible. Make
transportation arrangements before you start drinking.If you drink,
don't drive.If you must drive, don't drink.With good reason is the limit for commercial drivers and pilots 0.00%. Not a
drop.If you are not comfortable with your pilot being just a little
impaired, I don't want to share the road with you in the same condition.If yoyndont want to share the road with big rigs whose drivers are a
little impaired, don't ask me to share the road with you when you are a
little impaired.Drink all you want. None of my business or
concern....unless you selfishly and irresponsibly decide to drive after
drinking.Please sign the bill, Gov. Herbert.Next year,
lets increase penalties fir DUI and distracted driving. We've had more
than enough preventable deaths.
Changing the alcohol limit to .05 I feel is unacceptable to me. I don't
agree with this law and I would veto it. It pushes people away. What about
being tolerable to others. I DON'T DRINK because alcohol is nasty stuff
and the smell is just as bad. The reason I know this is the lives it
devastates. The smell is bad enough but it does kill sooner or later in many
If you are going to go to .05 why not go to .01 and make Utah the first Dry
While it may be difficult to argue with research results there are always people
willing to take a stance unsupported by facts.Best wishes to Utah
for getting this to pass!
From the New York Times: "In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths
jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."So
here's the problem: the automobile is an EXTREMELY dangerous form of
transportation. Can you imagine the reaction if we had this many aviation
deaths? The public would be up in arms, but because we have painted ourselves
into an automotive corner we turn a blind eye to this carnage. This
extremely dangerous form of transportation collides with human impairment of
all types, and drinking alcohol is just one, but an important one.If
we don't want to have people drink and drive we need MUCH, MUCH more public
transit. So go ahead with .05, but please let's have a lot more
transportation alternative.Note: the short sighted Republicans want
to nix Jerry Brown's high speed rail project. We have to keep those
highway deaths up!
You are cherry-picking data from the National Transportation Safety Board and
ignoring more relevant data. The decrease in driving fatalities of .012 or about
1%, is mere speculation. Actual statistics from Denmark and South Africa show
that after they dropped the level to .05 there was no drop in alcohol related
driving fatalities. Here is data from the NTSB you ignored. Just 1% of
alcohol-related traffic fatalities involved .05 to .08 levels and likely
involved other impairments or distractions. The average was double .08 at .16
and 70% were above .15. The problem is excessive drinkers. They will not be
deterred by .05. Founder of MADD, Candy Lightner, said .05 is a "waste of
time" and "impractical" and the focus should be preventing serial
drunk drivers from falling through the judicial cracks, disabling devices on
vehicles, and committing resources to excessive drinking instead of wasting them
on moderate drinkers. As for no level being safe, multiple studies and
experiments (including at the U of U a friend of mine participated in) show that
.08 drivers drive better than both hand-held and hands-free phone users. Very
little is being done about that.
I agree 100% with Thidder. This will likely result in untold violations of civil
liberties and significant enforcement costs. Worse, it has potential
for anyone taking a drink to become convicted of a crime - essentially if they
happen to drive after 1 beer, according to some who have personally tested this
hypothesis.I don't drink, and think that anyone who drives
truly impaired is making a tragic and foolish mistake. Yet I greatly fear that
this law is going to lead to countless, unnecessary misdemeanors on the records
of very good people. Remember that such a conviction is considered a
"prior" which means it can severely enhance penalties for other
potential future accusations against a person. It is also difficult and
expensive to get even an innocent or minor misdemeanor off a record. All of this not because a person was necessarily "impaired" in a
clinical sense - according to some who have examined this - but because of this
supposed 'limit' placed by those who are not apparent experts, who are
not clinicians, and who likely are just lay people like most everyone else.
The "poor me" vocal minority would really like to have all restrictions
on drinking removed, but even Germany, a country noted for drinking, has adopted
the .05 legal limit. There must be a reason. Oh yah, its called safety for
others. This bill does NOT say a person can't drink until their eyeballs
pop out. What it does say is that if you are going to drink, don't plan on
driving immediately afterwards. Any REASONABLE person would say this is sound
policy. It is true that the "poor me" people, who like to drink and
drive, will have to make some adjustments to their lifestyles. I wonder how
many of these "poor me" people have already had DUI tickets?
Utah law enforcement officials should have statistics on this. Where is the
research showing the number of "drunk" drivers in Utah that would have
been arrested if the limit was .05, but had to be let go because the limit was
.08?How many more drivers do lawmakers hope to snare? thousands?
hundreds? dozens?Is this just a message bill where the net effect
is arresting 5 more people?
Since this would only save at most 8 lives per year in Utah, why not go after
more pressing issues? This seems like a huge waste of taxpayer money. How about
coming up with ways to limit distracted driving as drivers' eyes get more
and more glued to phones? How about auditing the small fraction of doctors
responsible for prescribing the vast majority of narcotics (for stuff like
anxiety and back pain)? I take care of many patients whose doctors have put them
on large daily doses of narcotics, and they are driving every day, with no
roadside test to nail them. Seems there are much bigger fish for public safety
advocates to be going after.
Let's see. Utah has less than 1% of the nation's population. So up to
800 lives saved per year nationwide would be less than 8 lives per year in Utah.
This is an extremely ineffective move that will likely have negative effects on
many more people than it might help. BTW I'm a lifelong Mormon who's
never touched alcohol.
"There is some movement nationwide toward a .05 percent limit...."No there isn't.
Lets not forget about the real problem..... Religion interfering with state
laws. Our founding fathers would be ashamed of Utah. “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on
the Christian religion.”—John Adams
Lowering the alcohol level is a great jobs bill for attorneys. There will be
more and more plea bargains. Accident rates will not decrease. If we
can't take a tough stand against drunks at .08, nothing will improve at
.05. Increase in fines and bailouts equal revenue shift to law firms.
Sound data....my nanny. It's all correlation, with no, actual proof.
Comparisons to Europe and other urban dominated countries is ridiculous.
Europe has a bar on every corner...people walk, and no ones going to throw you
in jail for staggering home. "Some are convinced they can drive
unimpaired at between .05 and .07 percent blood alcohol levels. "Here's the facts...no correlations just historical facts. 77% of fatal
alcohol related crashes in Utah have a driver with a BAC of 1.5 or higher. The
average BAC in a fatal crash in Utah is .20. Fact is this
"public safety" policy is non sense. Alcohol related deaths in Utah are
caused by people who are completely wasted..not "impaired"...whatever
that means. They are caused by people with absolutely no regard for the law or
any limits. You could have a limit of 0.0 or .4 and it's irrelevant to
them. Given reality a sound public policy would be to beef up
traffic enforcement to have an opportunity to stop the wasted driver, but hey
you would also catch the speeder, the red light runner and they are your
legislator or your neighbor, Not going to happen.
Anyone driving and drinking should get a 3 week time in jail.
In our opinion, however, no matter the sound data or anecdotal evidence or
whatever, it doesn't matter. If public safety were really the issue
we'd be going after guns or cigarettes. But we're in Utah, and the
motivation and reasons to any restriction on alcohol, while often unspoken, are
always something different.
I concur with this editorial opinion. But it seems that we need some public
education. It is NOT a law against drinking in Utah, as so many are saying, but
rather a law against DRIVING under the influence (DUI). Folks can drink when
and where they please, but then they must not drive and thus endanger others.
They can take a taxi cab, uber, Trax, Front Runner, and etc. They can get a
hotel/motel room nearby. Just don't drive anywhere. Thank you Deseret News
for your support of this new law.
First, medical professionals will tell you that impairment starts at .08.
That's why .08 is the national limit. All .05 does is makes criminals out
of people that stop for a drink or 2 on the way home from work or after dinner.
Utah foolishly compares itself to the European model of .05. Ever been to
Western Europe? Public transportation is effective, efficient and inexpensive.
But, the main factor for not drinking and driving is due to walkable
neighborhood pubs and bars. Europeans come home from work and walk a few blocks
to local pubs and restaurants. Can you imagine the outrage and backlash from
Utah lawmakers and religious leaders if all of a sudden Sandy, Draper, Provo,
Orem etc. were forced to accept bars, every few blocks, in their cities?
We'd hear that the world would crash and burn and all the kids would be
drunks. Why? That doesn't happen in Europe.
The data is stretched. But the perception is this:The
Mormon-dominated legislature passes resolutions declaring pornography a public
health hazard, requiring questionable medical practices to discourage abortion,
and lowering the BAC, all for the same reason: they find these MORALLY
objectionable!These legislative actions defy the data and facts, and
are obviously religiously motivated. As such, they represent religious
discrimination against those not of the LDS Church!Like
Trump’s attempts at hiding his unconstitutional "Muslim ban"
behind legalese and bureaucratic BS, Mormon legislators are trying to enforce
their religious beliefs while hiding it behind lies and distortion of facts.
But consider what this is going to do. A family on a ski vacation or
representatives of a software company are enjoying having dinner in Utah. For
some women 1 drink in an hour will put her at .05 and 2 drinks in an hour will
put some men at .05 - there are going to be a lot of judgement calls and a lot
of angry visitors. So such visitors should not drive after dinner?
In all seriousness, considering the irritation this is going to
create with visitors and potential employers anyway, Utah should just go dry and
be done with it. I agree alcohol is mostly bad news. So since we are going to
get plenty of negatives with .05, let's just get complete relief from
alcohol and go dry.