In our opinion: A lower BAC level will keep Utah's roads safer

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 28, 2017 6:45 a.m.

    @Cactus Pete;

    So? What was your point?

    That doesn't change the fact that a woman, distracted by children in the back seat did exactly the same thing DUI drivers are accused of doing. Should we ban children in the car because they can cause a woman to be as bad a driver as someone who is inebriated.

  • Cactus Pete Centerville, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 5:04 p.m.

    RanchHand - Huntsville, UT

    The correct slogan is Don't Drink And Drive. The drunk driver who took the life of a young man crossing the street in a cross walk last week probably wishes now that she had heeded that advice.

    Apparently the family of the young man that was killed is religious. They have forgiven the woman and can expect similar treatment on judgement day.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    Let me get this right, the scientific studies coming out of Europe say that a .05 BAC is safer than a .08 level. The liberals who all claim to trust Science and will follow its recommendations are telling us to ignore science.

    I can't keep up with when science is good, and when it is bad. Can the liberals explain why they want to deny science and keep our streets less safe?

    While you are doing that, tell us why it is that you will enact any gun law to save just one life, but when it comes to alcohol you tell us that stricter laws are useless?

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 12:31 p.m.

    "In our opinion: A lower BAC level will keep Utah's roads safer" -headline

    There was not one line in this article which supported the headline with evidence or argument. Just a bunch of appeals to authority and hand waving.

    "Second, while 60 percent of Utahns identify as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"

    Many of those are just going through the motions to keep mom/dad/grandma happy. Its a farce.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 11:10 a.m.

    Flying Finn says:

    "Blaming relgion just won't fly. Your neighbors who are religious couldn't care less if you want to drink until you can't walk straight. Your religious neighbors just don't believe you should drink and drive. They want their little children to get killed by somebody who thinks they can drink a little before getting behind the wheel."

    --- And I don't want to be killed by a woman turned around yelling at her "little children" while she's in a moving vehicle. Two years ago I was rear-ended by just such a woman while I was stopped at a red light. I'd been stopped for plenty of time for her to have seen the light - if! she'd been paying attention. I suffered whiplash during that accident she hit me so hard.

    We should therefore ban all drivers who have small children in their cars too.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 10:39 a.m.

    "In our opinion: A lower BAC level will keep Utah's roads safer"

    --- The data say that this lower BAC will make no difference whatsoever.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 10:13 a.m.

    A lower BAC level WILL keep our roads marginally safer. Banning all elderly drivers >70y from getting behind the wheel would make an even greater impact. Are we ready? What? No?

    Then this must not be primarily about safety....

  • Cactus Pete Centerville, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 5:37 a.m.

    Hutterite - American Fork, UT

    We are unable to make cigarettes illegal and so what would you propose to do about cigarette related deaths.

    There is no reason to believe that intelligent non-religious people don't have the same opinion about drunk drivers as intelligent religious people.

    Drunk drivers belong in jail ...... or prison when the kill someone.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 26, 2017 11:11 a.m.

    No one can argue sensibly against making roads safer.
    But if this were just about safety, we'd be tackling the damage cigarettes cause right now.
    This is about religion.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 11:34 p.m.

    Rifleman - Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:11 a.m.

    Every 30 minutes in the United States someone is killed in an alcohol-related crash. Don't Drink and Drive is a slogan I agree with.

    =======

    Every 4 minutes in the United States someone is shot.
    Background checks and some restrictions is a slogan I agree with.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 8:54 p.m.

    pragmatistferlife - salt lake city, utah

    What part of "Don't Drink and Drive" is so hard to understand. The Utah Supreme Court has just ruled that a man convicted of killing a toddler in a DUI crash will serve his original prison sentence of up to 45 years behind bars. He'll be 100-years old before he gets out if he doesn't get an early parole.

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 7:57 p.m.

    What is needed is spending Weekend nights in a Trama Center.

    After this has gotten their attention, mandatory Therapy in a program proven to work.

    This is for the First offense. Emphasis on prevention rather than Punishment.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 6:57 p.m.

    Truth be told, a total ban on blood alcohol would be best, it's the standard throughout much of Scandinavia. Take a Cab an Uber or Lyft or DD. If you want to do something else to save lives, ban wireless devices while driving, you're not that important, and your not that busy...

  • Thomas Paine South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 6:21 p.m.

    pragmatistferlife, there has been an abundance of research done on the subject. The impairment at .05 is too much to safely react while driving.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 24, 2017 3:29 p.m.

    Thomas Paine.."Research has shown that a BAC of .05 is already too dangerously impaired to drive. "

    That is just not true. It's a lie.

    What "science" and studies have shown is that most struggle with tests at .08 and "some" struggle at .05.

    Why some and not others (btw no definition of some) sex, females struggle more than men because of less body fat. The young, how much you've eaten, your size generally, some genetics.

    Again, fact is if there was never another drunk driving death in Utah, you would have reduced the per cent of traffic deaths by 10%.

    On the other hand if you put as much effort into speeding, reckless driving , and seat belts as you are this you could prevent 75% of all traffic deaths.

    I have no issue with preventing drunk driving, but tell the truth, and don't parade around as though you are going to dramatically effect the number of traffic deaths in Utah. You aren't .....you could...but you won't.

  • Flying Finn Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 2:01 p.m.

    C"MON dave - Trabuco Canyon, CA

    Your comment doesn't pass the credibility test. How does lowering the BAC correlate with drunk driving fatilities? Why gamble your life of the life of another on what your BAC limit is?

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 1:49 p.m.

    This will do little to keep roads safer, but if they would pass tougher laws against texting and driving, the safety would improve considerably.

  • Thomas Paine South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    Wow, I can’t believe how many people want to justify driving with .05-0.79 BAC. This is sickening! Research has shown that a BAC of .05 is already too dangerously impaired to drive. Now, if you want to drink, then please don’t drive. This has nothing to do with religion; it’s just plain common sense.

  • dave Trabuco Canyon, CA
    Nov. 24, 2017 12:08 p.m.

    Drunk driving fatilities will increase. Distracting the police with people that are no true threat wilk allow the real drunk drivers enforcement free driving.

    Remember: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • Flying Finn Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 12:02 p.m.

    @Impartial7 - DRAPER, UT

    Blaming relgion just won't fly. Your neighbors who are religious couldn't care less if you want to drink until you can't walk straight. Your religious neighbors just don't believe you should drink and drive. They want their little children to get killed by somebody who thinks they can drink a little before getting behind the wheel.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Nov. 24, 2017 11:57 a.m.

    Distracted driving is the number one cause of traffic accidents.
    Cell phone use should be treated the same as DUI. Ten days in jail and ten-thousand dollars in fines.

    (For most Utah moms it would be a vacation.)

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 11:39 a.m.

    @impartial

    The .05 is an image issue more than anything. Nobody is going to jail for drinking a glass of wine with dinner.

    The same laws apply to law officers before .05. They can't just pull you over after you left a bar or restaurant. You would have to have at least a minor traffic violation and even if they discovered you had a glass a wine(hint do not confess to anything) you would have to take a sobriety test which can not start off with a breathalyzer.

    If you can not walk a straight line or do a pen test with a glass of wine then you shouldn't be driving anyway.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 11:15 a.m.

    @flying finn;
    "I'd be curious to get the opinion of the woman who was arrested for DUI after taking the life of a young man in a cross walk in Taylorsville on Wednesday night. On Wednesday morning she would have probably agreed with you."

    Sure, I think she should get a very long prison sentence. Did you read the articles? She stated she was headed to a party. Before going, she did several shots and had 4 or 5 beers. That would put her BAC well over 1.5%, about twice the legal limit. She should have been nowhere near a drivers seat. This law would make criminals out of people that enjoy 1 glass of wine with dinner. Cops say they can't perceive drunkenness in .05%. But their machine can. This is about the religious majority imposing their religious views on people that they deem sinners for having a cocktail with dinner.

  • PHJN25 Springville, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 11:11 a.m.

    Almost 50 years ago, I bartended in Montana while in college. Although I thought of myself as a Christian, at that time I was not a member of any religion. As a bartender, I was well aware of the fact that many of our customers who had had too much to drink, were also driving themselves and sometimes others as well home after drinking too much.

    I myself enjoyed a glass of wine or a Heineken or Budweiser up to six years ago this past August. That said, I never---absolutely never---drove a motor vehicle after having too much to drink. (I never had more than two beers in any one day, and only once did I ever drink more than one glass of wine unless I was in my own or a friends home.) Six years ago in August, I quit drinking and quit smoking when I decided to join the LDS Church.

    I'm not the best Latter Day Saint on the planet. I've no plans to go on a mission for the LDS Church. But when it comes to tightening Utah's blood alcohol content laws applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles, I'm all for it.

    The American Beverage Industry lobbying group is self-serving. Let's all place safety first!

    Andy McKane, from Maunaloa, Molokai, HI

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 11:09 a.m.

    To those of you who say the .05 laws won't work and that cellphones are the problem, how about this? Let's add an amendment to the .05 DUI law to include tougher sanctions on cellphone usage while driving. Targets both drunk driving and distracted driving from a mobile device. How does that sound?

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:36 a.m.

    Are the censors now changing comments? I said; 'theoslature' - not legislature, in my comment. Why not allow comments as written?

  • Flying Finn Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:27 a.m.

    @Impartial7 - DRAPER, UT says "Utah would be a lot better off without teetotalers making liquor laws."

    I'd be curious to get the opinion of the woman who was arrested for DUI after taking the life of a young man in a cross walk in Taylorsville on Wednesday night. On Wednesday morning she would have probably agreed with you.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:19 a.m.

    Here's other European laws and policies. Let's go all the way in adopting European alcohol laws. Kids can legally drink with parents at age 12. They can order beer and wine in restaurants at 16. They can't drive until they're 18. Most European neighborhoods have pubs close by. Like ward houses in Sandy, they're plentiful and walkable-eliminating the need to drive. Mass transit also is much more effective and convenient, again, eliminating the need to drive to a pub or restaurant. So, let's start teaching kids about alcohol at young ages instead of building walls to hide it and pretend it doesn't exist. But, that's too grown up for Utah.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:11 a.m.

    Every 30 minutes in the United States someone is killed in an alcohol-related crash. Don't Drink and Drive is a slogan I agree with.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:08 a.m.

    @Impartial7: "Utah would be a lot better off without teetotalers making liquor laws."

    Yes. Kind of like men don't get an opinion about elective abortions?

    Do you feel likewise about non-taxpayers having voice in how tax money is spent?

    What about non natives presuming to tell locals how to order their society?

    Gun haters should never presume to pass laws regarding our RKBA. And vegetarians clearly have no business worrying about how animals are treated.

    Lots of logical implications for this rationale that I think you'd find very unpleasant.

    "How about making mandatory IQ levels for Utah voters?"

    A lefty proposes tests to vote? Very racist history there.

    With an IQ well above average, I'm not at all convinced IQ can be reliable tested.

    But a civics literacy test for voters? Branches of government with their duties, division of powers between States and feds, rights guaranteed by Art 1 of the Utah State constitution, limits on government spending.

    I will write the test. Most lefties will fail miserably.

    Or maybe, we limit voting to taxpayers. Pay more taxes than you get in direct govt payments, you get to vote. Take more than you contribute and lose the vote.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:02 a.m.

    I remember learning about this in college, it's called "marginalization of the other". It happens in every society, basically it is when a majority group makes laws which only negatively affect minority groups.

    The problem is that laws that are designed to give advantages to the majority group at the expense of minority groups always end up failing. This new law will be a disaster.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:03 a.m.

    I remember learning about this in college, it's called "marginalization of the other". It happens in every society, basically it is when a majority group makes laws which only negatively affect minority groups.

    The problem is that laws that are designed to give advantages to the majority group at the expense of minority groups always end up failing. This new law will be a disaster.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 10:00 a.m.

    The safety value of a BAC 0.05 is also the opinion of the US National Transportation Safety Board and most European and Asian countries. To argue otherwise is cognitive dissonance. It is time to put scientific evidence ahead of the alcohol lobby's self interest.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 9:57 a.m.

    The Editorial board is correct on this one. Many commenters continue to show they operate from emotion and personal bias rather than accepting best science.

    Utah has banned texting and driving. It is illegal to manipulate a phone while driving. Doubtless, additional enforcement is needed. So too, additional educational efforts and proper social scorn to end these dangerous practices.

    Best research also indicates that speed limits of 70 or 80 on appropriate roads do not result in increased crashes or fatalities. Proper traffic engineering dictates that freeway speed limits reflect the speed at which 80% of drivers naturally drive a road. Disparity of speed--slow drivers parking in the passing lane--is fsr more often the problem.

    For a State where much of our population doesn't drink at all, Utah has a disturbingly high DUI rate. This suggests Utah drinkers may be less responsible than imbibers in other areas.

    21st amd makes clear, there is no right to drink.

    While fully sober, make plans for a ride home or decide not to drink at all if you must drive. Don't drive after drinking. Europeans get it. It is very simple....except perhaps for too many Utah drinkers.

  • JSKM1232 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 9:32 a.m.

    Texting and talking on the phone are as big or bigger impairments to driving than alcohol. If you want to do something to cut down on dangerous driving, implement the European style laws concerning cell phone usage in automobiles AND speeding. If implemented and enforced we would see a dramatic decline in automobile related deaths. BTW a drunk driver is going to drive whether his BAC is 0.02 or 0.35 - they think they'll never get caught.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 9:09 a.m.

    Utah would be a lot better off without teetotalers making liquor laws. How about making mandatory IQ levels for Utah voters?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 8:54 a.m.

    Deaths have gone UP the last 5 years due to increasing the speeds limits,
    has nothing to do with alcohol.

    Besides --
    someone who is going to drink and drive is gonna be more a lot more bombed than .08,
    and you will not even find someone at .05

    If you want to decease drinking and driving,
    then increase the PENALTIES like they have in Europe.

    This is just another revenue generator.

  • utahcoyote Saint George, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 8:48 a.m.

    its always a false narrative to compare utah to to european countries in terms of driving, because one is able to start driving much at a much earlier age in utah, and with far less driver education. driving is treated as a privilege in most european countries, and driver education is really focused on.

    as others have noted, the problem here is not alcohol but the use of smart phones by all age groups, but especially young drivers. how often do you see people looking down to either read a text or write one while driving?

    sad thing is, the way traffic accidents are reported in utah if someone who is texting runs into another car of someone who has had alcohol~~it's reported as an alcohol related accident~~no matter who is at fault.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 24, 2017 8:38 a.m.

    I love it, Europe is now the model for Utah social behavior...really? No seriously have you ever been to Europe. In most areas your more likely to get run over by a bicycle than a car.

    But the reality, traffic deaths have gone up in Utah from 2013 to 2016, 220 to 280. With speeding of course leading the causes. Three causes have gone down, old people, Pedestrian deaths, and leading the decline..yup drunk drivers.

    Utah is famous for it's reckless driving behaviors (speeding, failing to yield) and of course it's libertarian life style of you can't tell me to wear a seat belt. Total deaths from our infamous lifestyle around 220.

    So we neglect any attention on the lifestyle of choice in Utah that is 10 times more likely to kill you and we virtually outlaw a behavior we eschew as evil (and this is at the .08 level hard to find if there were any deaths associated with .05 to .08).

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 8:29 a.m.

    I can't stand drinking and driving, it makes me angry. But moving the law from 0.08 to 0.05 BAC will do little to change anything. We have WAY bigger problems causing unsafe road conditions. The top problems in my opinion are: Speeding, texting, tailgating, crossing the double white lines into/out of the HOV lane, distracted driving, drowsy driving, etc.

    If the police would focus consistently on these issues and crack down on these behaviors, we could improve safety on Utah roads much faster than by changing the legal BA limit.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Nov. 24, 2017 7:52 a.m.

    For impact on making roads safer in Utah, a ban on use of electronic devices would have been much more effective. However, for the moral legislature, the good feeling on the 0.05 level law is much better. Now they can say to one another, see how moral we are!

  • SMIT SLC, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 7:48 a.m.

    Also too - safety inspections.

  • SMIT SLC, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    .05 law will not make us safer. Period. It's a distraction. It's going to be prone to abuse. Go after texting, not wearing seat belts. Speeding and one of Utah's favorite pastimes, running red lights.

  • Beecham Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 7:34 a.m.

    My bet is the new law will never become law.