Utah adopts toughest DUI law in the U.S.

Old Jun 1st, 2017, 02:06 PM
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Utah adopts toughest DUI law in the U.S.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/uta...ILS?li=BBnbfcL

The state has lowered the blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05, effective 2018. This has been the recommendation of the NTSB since 2013 and is in line with many other countries.

It's not a surprising development in Utah. I wonder if any other states will follow suit.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 03:28 PM
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Interesting. That means that I would have to wait more than an hour after having one glass of wine.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 04:17 PM
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Their beer is pretty low ABV, so I guess all things are relative
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 05:00 PM
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Given that it's conservative Utah, I am not at all surprised.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 05:33 PM
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Well we do have "real beer" available at liquor stores and our local and most excellent breweries in person.

Im proud of the fact that Utah was the first state to have an "clean Indoor Act" prohibiting smoking indoors. Yeah for the forward thinking conservatives on that point.

I dont care for theis idiotic liquor laws because it makes being a wine lover rather difficult. You can get plenty, jusy not always what you might like when you have been wine tasting out of state!

What really bugs me about our dictatorial legislature, is that so often they are completely off target on things such as drinking laws. What they should be focusing on is more strict distracted driving laws. That is where the larger danger is these days.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 05:46 PM
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I do love the early adoption of nonsmoking!! There are SOME good things about Mormon country lol. When Idaho finally outlawed smoking in bars, I think I may have been the only one of my friends to be jumping for joy over that.


You're on target about the distracted driving. I feel like most really awful accidents I've heard about recently in UT (and elsewhere) have been due to reckless driving and cell phone use, usually the former as a result of the latter.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 06:50 PM
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FYI, the new 'wave' in anti-smoking laws is smoke-free towns. In my beach town, it's illegal to smoke anywhere except in your home or car.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 07:57 PM
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The data shows that the limit is worthless. The VAST majority of fatal accidents occur at higher alcohol levels. If they REALLy wanted to combat impaired driving accidents, they would increase punishments for repeat offenders etc etc. E.g. there are many more interventions that would target the actual problem vs. making people feel good.

Needless to say, I will be using Uber or Lyft more often!!!
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 09:22 PM
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Then, you're admitting the lower limit at least works as a deterrent on some level....
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 09:58 PM
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oh it works as a deterrent on those of us who live here and wouldn't be getting into a serious accident anyway.......mean while the repeat offenders are out there wreaking havoc.....and the tourists are diverting in droves to Colorado etc to ski or whatever because its not worth the risk. Bad business decision. NOT a good public health decision--ineffective, does not reach the cause of the problem. Just makes legislators feel good about themselves. Even MADD does not recommend this legislation.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 10:35 PM
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Do you have actual numbers that back up your loss of tourist claim? Because many countries have more stringent drinking and driving rules than the US in general and they're not losing tourists because of that. .08 is probably higher than advisable. The only European country with that limit is UK if I remember correctly.

I think what stricter laws generally curb is over serving. Bars don't want to get into trouble.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 05:28 AM
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>>What really bugs me about our dictatorial legislature,>The data shows that the limit is worthless. The VAST majority of fatal accidents occur at higher alcohol levels. >If they REALLy wanted to combat impaired driving accidents, they would increase punishments for repeat offenders etc etc.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 08:27 AM
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There was an excellent article in the SL Tribune with all the data on what alcohol levels are correlated with fatalities--e.g. for those accidents, what was the alcohol level of the perpetrator. The higher the level, the more likely. So why are we aiming for a tiny sector of the cause when the bigger percentage is still there? Of course the law doesn't prevent the action. In the mean time, they keep increasing the speed limits on our freeways--and that is also a known cause of fatalities--but we don't want to impinge on our liberties.

They don't need the death penalty--they just need jail time. Which they don't get now.

As for other countries--yes those would be countries with mass transit networks and walkable neighborhoods with pubs on the corner. This is Utah. The restrictions on any premise serving alcohol is extreme. Just to get a liquor license is extremely difficult. And now they are making establishments post signs on the doors that say "This is BAR, not a restaurant" or "This is a RESTAURANT, not a bar". I have no idea why. (One restaurant put another sign under that one that said "This is a DOOR, not a window" )

And loss of tourists--well, why else would Nevada already be running full page ads in their newspapers showing a woman in a DUI arrest photo saying "went on vacation, had one drink with dinner, left Utah with an arrest record". The full force hasn't hit yet because the law is not in effect yet. Wait till ski season 2018 and Colorado is going to jump all OVER this. The bottom line is that people want to go out to dinner and have a cocktail with dinner. Not 5 cocktails. Just one. And depending on how much you weigh/metabolize alcohol you can't do that under this law.

If you want more info--go to the Salt Lake Tribune website and search their articles. I love living in SLC but there are times when it drives me batty.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 09:29 AM
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Could Nevada be running the scare ads because visitors to that state are more into drinking (than skiing)?

I doubt those type of ads will appear in California where I live. We get the ones about "the greatest snow on earth", family ski vacations, the "Mighty 5," etc. Great skiing, fun and gorgeous scenery.

I assume this will affect residents more than visitors. IMO, for most tourists (especially serious skiers and probably families), how many drinks we can have at dinner does not determine where we go on vacation.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 10:06 AM
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Ok. First of all, I've lived in the west my entire life. There is no good transit just about anywhere. You either drink at home,get a DD, bike or walk to the nearest bar, or shell out for a taxi. I had friends like you in college who consider the above to be akin to rocket science. It really isn't. Booze is not a necessity and if you want to drink, just don't plan to drive. I like beer and wine and the occasional craft cocktail, but I would be completely fine with a one or none drink limit for anyone driving.


Also...


Agree with Jean on this one. Especially in regards to the skiing. Skiers are concerned with snow conditions and runs. Families can't go into bars anyway. So while they might drink with dinner, they aren't basing their vacation on the bar scene. And if you have to drive down the mountain that night, I'm just going to flat out say .08 is too high. You shouldn't even have one beer in that scenario.

An ad campaign may not have any effect at all. Nevada is is not in competition for the skiiers. They aren't even in competition for the nature tourists. Most people I know go to Nevada to drink and gamble. Tourists that go to Utah for that would have to be very confused.

(I will absolutely agree with your point on SLC. I have no idea how you live there. I spent one weekend there and I was bored out of my mind.)
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 10:58 AM
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>>They don't need the death penalty--they just need jail time. Which they don't get now.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 11:20 AM
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Uber and Lyft and the like are increasingly vital in areas where taxi service is scarce, public transportation non existent, and distances vast.

I don't think lowering the limit does much to decrease DUI-related injuries and fatalities. I agree that distracted driving is a bigger problem at the moment.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 04:34 PM
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Mouse--hmmm have you seen the ski magazines that rate best bar scene etc? Sundance??? People don't have to want to come here to get drunk. They just want to have a glass of wine at dinner and not get a DUI.

And I loooooovvvvveeeee living in SLC. I live here for the outdoors. It has EVERY sport I want to do. And the culture-yep, it's great. We are going to the symphony on Saturday, could have seen several ballets in the last month, not to mention the opera. That's not necessarily my scene--I am more into all of the outdoor concerts in the summer. For me, it is year round recreation right in my backyard. I moved here 20+ years ago and am thrilled I made such a big change.

But if people want to think Utah is boring or if tourists don't come because of the drinking...may not be so great for the economy but it will be great for short lift lines and less crowded National Parks. So maybe I should just look at the upside.

And for distracted driving---there is a great UofU study showing that talking on the cell phone while driving is just as bad, if not worse, than driving at the .08 limit. We can still do that--we just can't dial the phone. (I am not making this up) So again, this isn't really about lowering alcohol related fatalities. It's just a "feel good" bill for the legislature. FTR--I don't talk on my cell phone when I drive. DH is an ER MD. He sees way too many accidents from that. And yes, he see lots of alcohol related vehicle carnage--and those people have limits wayyyyy over the .08 limit.

The only people being "deterred" by this new law are people who want to have "a" drink with dinner. The die hards who cause all the trauma are not dissuaded by the current penalties.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 06:00 PM
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You're not going to see a significant effect on your tourist economy. (See tourism numbers in France and Italy where wine consumption is part of their culture.) The lift lines will not be short unless there is no snow. Sundance will be bigger than last year which was bigger than the year before which was bigger than the year before that.

BTW, the scare ad running in Nevada was paid for by the American Beverage Institute which lobbies for the restaurant industry. Quelle surprise.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 06:33 PM
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I love the outdoor recreation activities in the area, I just don't care for the city itself.

Yeah. I love ski towns with a good bar scene. Because I'm not a serious skier and it's just a fun weekend for me occasionally when I hang out with people who do like skiing. But again, you can choose to not drink and drive. I stay overnight and do my drinking the night I'm staying and then I don't drink the next day when I need to drive home.

A glass of wine isn't going to put you over the legal limit, usually. 2 drinks might put you over .06 if you're on the petite side. harsher penalties would deter some drinking and driving. Like I said, I'd be ok with a 0 tolerance policy. I think it's way too easy for people to say "just one more drink". Just because they would not necessarily deter the major violators from drinking and driving does not mean the laws aren't a good idea. They'll make the people like you and me who might have a little too much for dinner think twice about getting behind the wheel. I don't think people are very good at assessing whether they should drive or not and I'd much prefer if if they erred in the side of caution and called a cab. According to charts I've seen, .06 is about the point you'd consider someone buzzed, or in other words slightly impaired. Which means that's too high, and I don't want someone impaired on the road.

Lastly, just because distracted driving is a major problem doesn't mean that drunk driving isn't.
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